Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and FODMAPS
When we eat food, it is broken down and absorbed in our gut. However some people have conditions that mean their gut is not able to function as it normally would. One of these conditions is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and it is quite common. IBS is usually diagnosed when the symptoms cannot be explained by other medical investigations that may have been conducted. While the cause of IBS is unknown, some of the factors that can result in these symptoms are stress, infection, change in routine, and also the foods we eat.
It is normal for some foods that we eat to be broken down in our large intestine by good bacteria, and when they digest our food they create a lot of different gases. One of the reasons people have IBS symptoms is because they have extra sensitive nerve endings in their gut, meaning their body reacts to this more than people without IBS, or the good bacteria in their gut may also produce a larger amount of gas.
There is also another reason why people may experience IBS symptoms. While this good bacteria normally lives in the large intestine, sometimes it can move up into the small intestine, where it digests food and once again produces gases. The presence of gas in both the large and small intestine results in the bowel wall stretching which can cause symptoms such as bloating, abdominal distension, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits and flatulence. Once again, these symptoms may be experienced by people with IBS due to the increased sensitivity of their nerve endings. Some people may also experience diarrhoea which is the body’s reaction to some foods that are poorly absorbed.
It is important to see your doctor first if you have any of the above symptoms, as it is important to rule out more serious conditions before seeing a dietitian for dietary advice that may help.
A specific group of foods in the diet has been shown to worsen IBS symptoms in some suffers. This group of foods is known as FODMAPS, and they are types of sugars which are poorly absorbed in the gut.
All our dietitians have undergone the practical training workshop ("FODMAPs and the Control of Gastrointestinal Symptons") run by the Monash University in Melbourne giving us the proper knowledge and tools to be able to assist you.
Contact Simply Nutrition Dietitians for more information about how we can help.