Advice and Support
We talk about IBS, FODMAPs and answer some of your frequently asked questions.
What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a functional bowel disorder characterised by changes in bowel motions (constipation, diarrhoea or both), bloating and lower abdominal pain. It is incredibly common and estimated that 1 in 7 people suffer from IBS.
IBS can be debilitating and we know first hand the impacts it can have on all aspects of your life. This includes work, sexual relationships, social life, stress, sleep, fear of eating and leaving the house… the list goes on!
The good news is, we can do something about it!
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs is an acronym that stands for:
FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that are either partially absorbed or not absorbed at all by humans.
Fermentable: FODMAPs are not absorbed in the small intestine, so they end up in the large intestine where our good gut bacteria reside. Our bacteria use these sugars for food and fermentation occurs as a result. This contributes to the symptoms you experience such as bloating, abdominal pain, gas and changes in bowel motions.
Oligosaccharides: includes fructans and galactans found in foods such as garlic, onion, wheat, rye and legumes.
Disaccharides: lactose found in dairy products such as milk yoghurt, custard and cream
Monosaccharides: fructose found in foods such as fruit juice, honey, mango and asparagus
Polyols: includes mannitol and sorbitol found in foods such as mushrooms, cauliflower, kumara, stone fruits and artificial sweeteners.
The Low FODMAP diet is a three phase elimination diet developed by Monash University to manage IBS symptoms and identify which foods are responsible for causing IBS symptoms.
Please note, the low FODMAP diet is highly restrictive and complex and is not recommended that you undertake this on your own. If you wish to learn more about IBS and the low FODMAP diet, please seek dietitian support.