1. Diets
  2. Gut Health
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Nicholas Rush, RDN, CDN

February 5, 2023

The Low FODMAP Diet: What It Is and How It Can Help IBS

The Low FODMAP diet is a three phase elimination diet with the goal to find a balance between good symptom control and expansion of the diet of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other functional gut disorders.  

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, which are types of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine by all humans, but can trigger digestive symptoms in some people. The Low FODMAP diet involves avoiding foods high in these carbohydrates, and instead focusing on eating a variety of low FODMAP foods. The diet is typically followed for a period of time under the guidance of a registered dietitian, and then gradually reintroducing foods to identify personal triggers. 

The Low FODMAP diet can be effective in reducing IBS symptoms and recommended by numerous institutions, including the American College of Gastroenterology, but should only be followed under the supervision of a GI provider and registered dietitian.

The Low FODMAP diet consists of three phases: 

  1. Elimination Phase – Low FODMAP diet: This is the strictest phase of the diet, where high FODMAP foods are avoided for 2-6 weeks. The goal of this phase is to reduce symptoms and identify which FODMAPs are causing problems.
  2. Reintroduction Phase: During this phase, you will gradually reintroduce high FODMAP foods one at a time, to determine which FODMAPs are well-tolerated and which ones trigger symptoms. This phase typically takes between 6-8 weeks to complete all the FODMAP challenges. 
  3. Personalization Phase: This is the final phase, where you will use the information gathered from the reintroduction phase to create a customized, long-term eating plan that works for you. This plan may include some high FODMAP foods, but in smaller quantities that don’t cause symptoms. The goal of this phase is to maintain symptom control while enjoying a variety of foods.

It’s important to note that the duration of each phase can vary depending on individual factors, and the guidance of a healthcare professional, such as a dietitian, is crucial to ensure a safe and effective implementation of the Low FODMAP diet.

Why it’s important to see a dietitian when following a Low FODMAP diet. 

Seeing a dietitian with experience and training in the Low FODMAP diet can help ensure you are following the diet safely and effectively to help improve your overall health and well-being. 

  1. Expert guidance: A registered dietitian has specialized training and expertise in helping individuals manage their diet and health, and can provide personalized guidance and support for the Low FODMAP diet.
  2. Safe and balanced nutrition: The Low FODMAP diet involves restricting certain foods, and a dietitian can ensure that you are still eating a balanced and nutritionally complete diet. They can also help you identify alternative food options to ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs.
  3. Avoiding unintended consequences: The Low FODMAP diet can be complex and restrictive, and a dietitian can help you avoid unintended consequences, such as nutrient deficiencies or disordered eating habits.
  4. Monitoring progress and adjusting the diet: A dietitian can help monitor your progress, make adjustments to the diet as needed, and help you slowly reintroduce FODMAP-containing foods to determine your personal triggers.

Reach out to me at [email protected] or click the link below to schedule a free 15-minute consultation if you have been diagnosed with IBS and are ready to enhance your quality of life through the Low FODMAP diet.

Halcyon Health
Nicholas Rush, RDN, CDN
E: [email protected]
P: 914-809-3456
IG: @halcyonhealth1