Hooray for the FODMAPs diet!

I have had IBS - D&C for a little under 2 years with no let-up, i.e. 24/7. In desperation, I contacted Dr Nick Read at the IBS Network and he told me to try a FODMAPs diet about which I had previously never heard. I started it 4 weeks ago and the results (which began almost immediately) have been incredibly good and get better every day - unless I have inadvertently eaten something that should have had a red flag attached to it. The information on the web re. FODMAPs is sketchy and often contradictory and it takes a bit of time and effort to find out precisely which foods can or can't be eaten. It seems that the best thing to do is to cut out everything that appears in common on the appropriate advisory sites and, if you get an improvement, but still have some residual problems, Google the foods you think might be affecting you adversely to check on their FODMAP levels - you'll usually find the info you're looking for eventually even if you get to page 22 or higher in your search! If you've tried everything else (as I had) for your IBS and nothing has worked, do give this diet a go, it could be the answer for you just as it has been for me.

28 Replies

  • Hi RozB

    I'm so glad to read something so positive for the FODMAP diet as I saw a dietician in November and she suggested this diet but won't put me on it until her colleague has been trained. I am around 4 months to wait now which I know will be worth it. Thank you for the tips as well, they are so useful.

    Best of luck in the future and I will be posting on this site once I am on the diet.

  • Thanks very much and appreciate your help. Am doing reasonably well at the moment, I think that maybe because I have already cut out broccoli, cauliflower and grapes (I used to eat alot of all 4) so happy to wait.

    Keep everyone posted though please on how you get on over the next few weeks as it really is helpful.

  • Hi Grandmother, just thought I would mention there is a really useful chart: tinyurl.com/baqta7m - shows what foods to eat and what to avoid for FODMAPS. if you read this and the Patsy Catsos book I mention elsewhere, you will know as much - if not more - than the dietician if she is only just training up on it. Seems a shame to wait when you can be having relief now!! ;-)

  • Yes, I'm having much less pain on FODMAPS but way more constipation :P I think I have to fine tune this endeavor.

  • I'm tweaking this diet all the time and probably will be for some time to come as different foods crop up. Even the veg on the 'green' FODMAP lists give me a problem - mainly constipation. I've found the best way of eating them is to make a veg soup which I blitz in the blender after a long cooking time until it's a thick broth.

  • That sounds fantastic!!and well done I'm in pain everyday too and am about to go for the camera and an mri scan but have heard about the fodmap diet!did u go to a dietician or just through the internet??

  • Saw my GP about the diet, she'd never heard of it, but said she'd get me an appointment with a dietitian. However, I was so desperate for some relief that I decided to go it alone until my appt. came through - I'm still waiting for that to happen so am very glad I forged ahead. As I said in my post, info is often contradictory and a bit sparse out there, but if you're prepared to spend time trawling with Google (and I'm sure you are), you get there in the end. If I can help you any further, don't hesitate to come back to me.

  • So glad you have had a positive result with FODMAPS - I too have had a great result, and have no symptoms of IBS if I stick to it......and I have had symptoms most of my adult life! I found great information in a book by Patsy Catsos, IBS - free at last. She has a website too which is very helpful ibsfree.net/. I didn't have a dietician helping me, and had no problems with following it at all!

    I hope everyone who tries it benefits as much! :-)

  • Great to hear of another success for FODMAPS. I ordered the book by Patsy Catsos on Friday and, from what you say, I won't have wasted my money.

    Hope things continue to go well for you.

  • Hope you find the book useful! If you have an iPhone, there is an app produced by the people at Monyash (Sue Sheppard and her team) that you can buy. As they are still testing some foods, the app is useful as it will have the most up to date information.

    I have IBS-D, so don't have the constipation some people mention from using the diet. There may be some information on Patsy's website dealing with that issue?

  • Thanks so much for the info about the app which I've just downloaded. All help gratefully received.

    Just wish there was a good shopping list available for the UK.

    I do both d & c but it's just the veg that give me a c problem if I don't blitz them into baby food mush, then I'm ok.

    I'm planning on reading the IBS-Free at Last website from end-to-end this morning to see what I don't already know - quite a bit I expect!

  • Thanks all for your incredibly helpful posts. I will now go online and have a real good look at all the information there is out there and by looking at the websites suggested.

    Best of luck to all.

  • Yes indeed "hooray for the FODMAPS diet". I am so pleased I signed on to the IBS website and discovered the above diet. I have had IBS on and off for at least 15 years and in the last 6 months had it constantly. My symptoms were bloating, painful spasms and acid reflux and constipation. The bloating and acid problem affected me mainly at night keeping me awake. My doctor prescribed various medications but nothing really helped except that Fybogel does help the constipation. Eating only the foods recommended in the FODMAPS diet has made such a difference. Bloating and spasms have gone and I can at last have a decent nights sleep. Istill take a 15mg Lanzopazole before my evening meal to help with acid reflux.

    My local supermarket keeps a good supply of gluten free products and also alternatives to dairy products. I was surprized at the range. There are so many healthy items on the allowed foods list that your diet need not be deficient in any way. I really cant see why it would be neccessary to see a dietician.

    I am aware that some people have tried this diet and it hasn't helped them but that shouldn't put others off trying it. I have sent for Patsy Catsos' book and am looking forward to the recipes in it. I used to use garlic and onions in a lot of things imade and I'd like to know what she substitutes for them.I forgot to say that I have been on the diet about 4 weeks now same as you RozB. Hope you continue to do well on it.

  • Hi, so glad to hear from another successful fodmapper! Have you visited the Monash University website (where the diet was developed)? If not, click on this link: med.monash.edu.au/cecs/gast... and have a look. If you've got an iPhone you can download an app from there which is the most useful tool imaginable for quick reference when you're out food shopping or in a restaurant. There are also some good recipes on it.

    I use the green end of spring onions in my cooking and I make garlic-infused oil - the fodmaps in the bulb don't leach out into oil as they do in water, so it's quite safe to use.

    I'm sure you'll find Patsy Catsos's book as informative as I have. At the moment, I've reached the 'challenge' stage for each of the fodmaps and have just spent several days checking out fructans. This was really useful as I now know I can eat small amounts of them infrequently without any bad effects. Now I'm doing 3 days of no fodmaps and will then start on the lactose challenge.

    There are some good websites for buying 'free-from' foods, the 2 I use the most are Goodness Direct and Real foods.

    Hope you find this info useful. Keep posting and stay well.

  • I wish it helped me but it hasn't. I am down to eating plain boiled potatoes, boiled rice, grilled lean meat and drinking water. Still getting just as ill. My dietician has admitted there don't seem to be any dietary triggers but my GI consultant is a stubborn thing and won't see me again until I have been on the diet for 16 weeks (then will have to wait a couple of months to see her again). What a shambles.

  • So sorry that the diet hasn't helped you, obviously a completely different problem causing your symptoms. I wish medics wouldn't use the term 'IBS', seems to me that it's often a get-out clause they fall back on when they're stumped!

    I should tell you that although rice is on the fodmaps 'okay' list, it isn't okay for me and brings on pain and bloating...

    Sincerely hope you get sorted out some time soon.

  • Just for information, Patsy Catsos is compiling a FODMAPS recipe book as we speak!

    White ladder - so sorry it hasn't worked for you. I have also read the book by Mark Pimentel, New IBS Solution, and he argues that IBS is caused by bacteria living in the small intestine where they don't belong. He has had success with specific antibiotic therapy to kill the bacteria, and you can get a lactulose breath test to check for these bacteria. I am waiting for an appointment with the gastroenterologist to see if they will give me the test, but in the UK they are less believing of these ideas. However, they do now recognise small bowel intestinal overgrowth (SIBO). Your GI consultant doesn't seem very helpful - that is a terrible diet to put you on with no veggies for vitamins! No wonder you still feel poorly!

  • Your info on Mark Pimentel's idea sounds really interesting. This will be the second book I've bought on your recommendation + the iPhone app and it's all been the best money I've ever invested about IBS, so thanks very much for taking the time and trouble to keep posting.

  • Thanks RozB, it's nice to know its been of help! I too got this information from others, and hopefully we can spread the word as much as possible. :-)

  • I've made an appointment with my GP for next Friday to ask about the SIBO test, it'll be interesting to see how I get on, but I'm not holding my breath. I'd be grateful if you could let me know if you manage to get one done.

  • My GP has referred me to a gastro and the earliest appointment I can get is beginning of April. Then if they agree to the test, I will have to wait until I get an appointment for that! Still, it's a start.....good luck with your GP.

  • Inndie, just to let you know that my GP got straight on to my gastro and asked about SIBO, and fructose and lactose malabsorption tests. Gastro is now trying to find out if any local hospitals are set up to do them failing which she'll refer me to Dr Anton Emmanuel at University College Hospital, London. So, still a way to go, but at least somebody listened. Thought the info might be helpful to you. By the way, after a glitch with my computer, I had to re-register on this site and am now coming up as Roz1485

  • Brilliant Roz. My appointment isn't until April, but I am hoping they will help me....we'll see. If not, I may look into the UCH contact, thanks for that.

  • I don't know which part of the country you're in, Inndie, but have now been informed that the tests can be done at Winchester Hospital. This is great for me as I only live 30 minutes away. Still awaiting a date though - the NHS rumbles on...

  • I am in Nottingham, so a little too far for me....but glad it is so close for you. That's good news.

  • hi my name is pat miller i have had ibs 4 18 months how can i contact this gp thanks

  • Hi Pat,

    Not quite sure who your question is addressed to, is it Inndie or me?

  • YAY!! you can even eat foods that are high fodmap if you eat low fodmap foods the rest of the day... LOVE IT :P

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