If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are not alone. A whopping 30 million people in North America struggle with its symptoms, including belly pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Relief may be on the horizon though, thanks to a dietary approach that is picking up speed: the low FODMAP diet.
What is the big deal?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be relentless and difficult to treat. No definitive cause has been found yet and treatments are often limited to symptom management at best.
Symptoms of IBS
- Pain and discomfort in the lower belly
- Excess gas
- Alteration in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
Sufferers report that symptoms can be continuous or follow a pattern of repeated relapse—all of which often interfere with their social and work lives. Many note that symptoms increase after eating, and people often try to manage their IBS symptoms by avoiding certain trigger foods.
This was the impetus for researchers in Australia, led by professor Peter Gibson at Monash University, who may have come up with a solution. They found a link between symptoms of IBS and certain carbohydrates found naturally in foods. They gave these carbohydrates the acronym, FODMAP. [Read more…]