The FODMAPS diet restricts potentially problematic sugars that can remain undigested in the small intestine and then reach the large intestine where bacteria ferment the sugars producing excessive amounts of gas with symptoms of bloatedness, pain and flatulence.
FODMAP is an acronym derived from “Fermentable Oligo Di-Mono-saccharides and Polyols which describes these sugars. These sugars are widely found in many “healthy” foods such as fruits and vegetables.
The Diet was developed at Monash University to assist patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (FGID).
The most common sugars that can cause problems are lactose and fructose so common excluded foods are grains, dairy foods and specific fruits and vegetables. Intolerances to these sugars indicate small intestine wall damage that needs to be treated at the same time as restricting incriminating foods.
When the gut wall is sufficiently healed, FODMAP foods should be slowly re-introduced as we know these foods help with maintaining beneficial gut microbacteria.
Fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance may produce IBS symptoms through the same mechanism but, unlike with other FODMAPs, poor absorption is found only in a minority of people.
Many who benefit from a low FODMAP diet need not restrict fructose or lactose. It is possible to identify these two conditions with hydrogen and methane breath testing and thus eliminate the necessity for dietary compliance if possible.
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