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I’ve been following the Low FODMAP Diet for IBS for a year now…
A little part of me dies inside when I hear a new client say this because the low FODMAP ‘diet’ was never intended to be a long-term therapy for IBS.
Rather, it’s a short-term process of elimination to help you identify your personal trigger foods.
I completely understand that when you see a reduction in your IBS symptoms during the elimination phase, you may be hesitant to reintroduce the foods that were making you sick.
But it’s pretty unlikely that you are truly sensitive to all foods containing FODMAPs.
Here’s what you need to know:
⚠️ The low FODMAP diet can make it tricky to meet your nutritional requirements (especially if you’re vegan or eat a plant-based diet), but for the 2-8 weeks the elimination phase was designed to last, the impact will be negligible. Any longer than this though, and you’re putting yourself at risk of nutritional deficiencies.
⚠️ Some FODMAPs are a source of prebiotic fibre, which is crucial for your gut health, as well as the good bugs that live in your bowel. One study found negative effects on the gut microbiota in participants who had been following the low FODMAP diet for more than 8 weeks. Changes to the microbiota are usually transient, but the only way to resolve any damage is to reintroduce those FODMAPs.
⚠️ Restrictive diets aren’t suitable for everyone, and can lead to disordered eating. As an IBS sufferer, you probably already have a pretty complicated relationship with food. It can be a slippery slope.
⚠️ The low FODMAP diet can be inconvenient. It makes eating out a pain in the arse and it’s just not sustainable long-term. Besides, who wants to miss out on delicious juicy mangos, buttery avocados or crispy falafels (<insert your fave foods here!).
⚠️ The low FODMAP diet is just one of many tools we practitioners have in the toolkit to help you manage your IBS. Ideally, it should be followed under the guidance of a dietitian or nutritionist who specialises in managing IBS and is trained implementing the diet (hey, that’s me!).
Curious about the Low FODMAP Diet for IBS?
You’re in the right place!