FODMAPS has really helped my IBS!

I thought I would post this in case it helps anyone here as much as it has me. I was diagnosed with IBS many years ago, and have had bowel problems most of my adult life. The wind and diarrhoea have spoilt my enjoyment of many social and exercise situations, and made life at work very hard. The embarrassment has meant I do not talk to anyone about it, and just try and hide the symptoms as best I can. One example of a really embarrassing moment was in a quiet yoga class - need I say more? I haven't been back since, which is such a shame as yoga is supposed to help with IBS, but the shame was too much for me. Anyway, I have tried all sorts of medications, therapies, dietary changes etc with no improvement, until I came across the FODMAPS diet. From Wikipedia, "FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates and monosaccharides which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, including fructans, galactans, fructose and polyols. The term is an acronym, deriving from "Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols"."

By avoiding foods like apples, cabbage, onions etc, my problems are reduced considerably. It may not work for everone, but it has improved my life tremendously! Just thought I would mention it, as I really think it is worth trying if you have IBS, and it doesn't cost anything. I did buy a book though, by Patsy Catsos, IBS - free at last. She has a website too which is very helpful ibsfree.net/

I really would love this to help someone, so please let me know of any successes!

8 Replies

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  • Thankyou for your post. I too have looked at the Fodmap diet and found that the same things onions, apples, pulses and unfortunately Red wine all affect me. Thanks for the link to Patsy Catsos web, I am going to take a look now.

  • Inndie, thank you very much for this. I have recently seen a dietician and once her colleague has been trained in this diet, she is going to contact me again and I will then go on it. I know it's now going to be easy but anything is better than constipation, wind, bloatedness and pain!

    I will also now have a look at the ibsfree.net website.

  • grandmother, as I posted in another thread, the FODMAP diet is not that complicated! You don't need a dietician's help to follow it. Get a list of FODMAPS from Patsy or Kate Scarlata and simply leave them out of your diet. There are many things you can still eat or replace them with. I replace onions with celery, honey with maple syrup and so on. It's made a big difference to my daily life. It's a shame this is not widely known in the UK but it's been common knowledge elsewhere, especially Australia and New Zealand, and I think in the USA, for some time. We are so behind the times in the UK.

  • I went to a friend's house for Christmas lunch, and couldn't help eating a bit of everything. Onion and wheat in stuffing balls - wow, bad reaction! Fortunately I was home by the time it started......

  • Hi - I"ve suffered from IBS for over 10 years. A recent bout of gastroenteritis abroad triggered and flared up my condition for the past 9 months. After an intense set of medical tests, I was told the results didn't suggest anything serious. Although, this was reassuring, I was left helpless with no cure for my extreme symptoms.

    Just before Xmas I started taking Symprove (friendly bacteria) in an attempt to re-build my gut (led by myself - as so desperate for help)! Initially, I felt worse, the bloating was crazy but I have noted a considerable improvement.

    I also came across the Fodmap diet, I read 'IBS - free at last' and over the past two weeks removed some of the suggested food groups (garlic/onions, wheat, lactose) and have experienced a a significant improvement.

    For starters, the bloating has reduced ( I had to go up a size in clothes for comfort!) and the violent episodes (6/7 a day) have almost completely stopped. My body has begun to regain its normal shape, I can enjoy hot yoga (previously struggled with breathing and nausea when pressure applied on stomach). I have a full on job and I can actually last during the day without having to rush to the loo during serious meetings with senior management!!

    I'm on time for work as I don't have to wait an extra half hour before leaving due to frequent visits to the loo (too afraid to get on the tube)!

    I"m seeing a dietician next week to take me through the fodmap diet properly (after much insistence I was able to get a referral from my gastroenterologist). I thought I would make a head-start and encouraged by the initial impact. Last night, I was out for a fancy meal and actually enjoyed it through the evening, and felt fine afterwards.

    ALthough I miss eating the food I love, I don't miss it enough to want to experience the pain I was in all day and sometimes even during the night. As I said, it is early days but i'm feeling fairly positive!

  • I am so glad the Symprove and FODMAPS are working for you. There is a really useful chart: tinyurl.com/baqta7m - shows what foods to eat and what to avoid. If you have an iPhone there is also a new app from Australia by the people who developed the programme. This is useful as it will be updated regularly - they are still testing some of the foods, so the advice might change slightly over the next few months. Good luck, and I hope the dietician gives you useful advice too!

  • I have been trying out with avoiding FODMAPS - going well so far as the bloating is much much less! its a bit stressful at the moment which isnt good as its one more thing to think about and i tend to overload my diary and therefore my brain.

    I havent had any success with this diet relieving constipation though... I still end up taking Sennakot 'dual purpose' tablets about once every 8 days to 'get things going'. I'm going to keep going with it though and see how i fare.

  • I have downloaded the book - it seems very helpful.

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