Low-fodmap Diet May Help Combat Constipation And Diarrhoea

Navigating the low-FODMAP diet

The low-FODMAP diet was formulated by Dr Sue Shepherd and includes elements of other established diets aimed at dealing with digestive issues such as lactose intolerance, the Age reported. The diet limits foods that are high in short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols, such as lactose, fructans and fructose. The diet helps up to three out of four sufferers to some extent and, unlike those with coeliac disease, patients dont need to cut out the offending foods completely. A few FODMAPs are OK, the publication quoted Shepherd as saying. Its not like the gluten-free diet, which is about cutting out gluten completely. Its about cutting back FODMAPs until you have the level of symptoms you want, he said. The exact cause of this sort of intolerance is unknown, but the symptoms often develop after a gut infection and may be worsened by stress, says Monash Universitys Professor Peter Gibson, one of the FODMAP researchers. Key questions that remain to be answered include whether avoiding certain types of sugars, particularly those that encourage the development of good gut bacteria, can cause other types of digestive problems and why a minority of patients do not respond to the diet. We havent actually got a handle on that at the moment, Gibson said. Its not been that easy to define who [the diet] will work for and who it wont, he added. ANI

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One published in 2013 in the International Journal of Clinical Practice followed 90 people with IBS as they ate a low FODMAP diet. Most participants saw improvement in abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. The concept isnt all that new, however. Doctors have known for a long time that patients who avoided almost all carbohydrates those who went on a high-protein Atkins diet, for instance would see a significant reduction in symptoms in the short-term, said Pankaj Jay Pasricha, MD, chair of the American Gastroenterological Associations Neurogastroenterology and Motility Section and director of the Center for Neurogastroenterology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Low FODMAP Diet: What to Avoid A low FODMAP diet is all about avoiding the foods that are likely to make IBS symptoms act up. Fruits and sweeteners high in fructose: fresh apples, mangos, watermelon, pears, nashi (Asian pears), and juice made from these fruits; canned fruit; dried fruit; foods with sweeteners made with fructose or high fructose corn syrup; and honey. Dairy products containing lactose: milk from cows, goats, and sheep ; custard; ice cream; yogurt; and soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, mascarpone, and ricotta. Foods with fructans: vegetables such as onions, garlic, leeks, fennel, shallots, spring onions, artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, eggplant, and okra; cereals, breads, and baked goods containing wheat and rye; couscous and pasta; fruits such as custard apples, persimmons, and watermelon; and chicory root, dandelion, the food ingredient inulin, and pistachios. Legumes containing galactans: baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, and soybeans. Fruits, vegetables, and sweeteners containing polyols: fruits such as apples, apricots, avocados, blackberries, cherries, longons, lychees, nashi, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, and watermelon; vegetables such as cauliflower, green bell peppers, mushrooms, and sweet corn; and sweeteners such as sorbitol, mannitol, isomalt, maltitol, and xylitol found in diet soda and diet drinks. Low FODMAP Diet: What to Eat Next, put together a meal plan from foods low in FODMAPs that shouldnt trigger IBS symptoms. Fresh fruits or a small amount of dried fruits: bananas, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, durians, grapes, grapefruit, honeydew, melons, kiwis, lemons, limes, mandarin oranges, passionfruit, papayas, raspberries, rhubarb, cantaloupe, strawberries, and tangelos. Vegetables and herbs: alfalfa, bamboo shoots, bean shoots, bok choy, carrot, celery, choko, choy sum (Chinese cabbage), endive, ginger, green beans, lettuce, olives, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, red bell peppers, silver beets, spinach, squash, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, the root vegetable taro, tomatoes, turnips, yams, and zucchini; basil, chili, coriander, ginger, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Grains: gluten-free cereals and breads, and 100 percent spelt bread, rice, oats, polenta, arrowroot, millet, psyllium, quinoa, sorgum, and tapioca.

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A Low FODMAP Diet: Help for IBS

What are FODMAPs? In short, theyre a group of short-chain carbohydrates that are common triggers of bloating, gas and other stomach problems. A 2010 Australian study showed cutting out or restricting these particular carbs was an effective approach to the management of patients with functional gut symptoms. The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation also recently created a FODMAPs fact sheet targeted at those with IBS. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols a grouping that includes lactose, fructose and sugar alcohols. Certain fruits, vegetables, grains, sugars and other foods that fall under one of these categories are limited on the low-FODMAP diet. As nutritionist Monica Reinagel writes , the diet is effective because it eliminates several categories of compounds which, together, are responsible for a large share of digestive drama. Solets talk about the restrictions, shall we? The main to-avoids in the low-FODMAP diet include most legumes and dairy products, wheat, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and select fruits and vegetables (broccoli, onions, apples and peaches are a few examples). Some non-gluten grains are allowed, including rice and oats. Lactose-free milk, eggs, maple syrup and olive oil are also on the safe list. (Visit this website for a full list of foods you should limit.) Similar to an elimination diet, the low-FODMAP diet can be tested for a certain period of time (usually around 4-6 weeks) and foods can be re-introduced slowly to help you determine specific causes of digestive upset. The good I see in this diet: Research and extensive adoption shows it has been effective for a large number of people with IBS and inflammatory bowel disease. From a personal standpoint, I know my gut feels better when I reduce or eliminate wheat, dairy and sweets.

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