(AscendHealthy.com) – Tummy troubles? The problem could stem from more than food sensitivities or allergies. Ready to rein in digestive issues? A FODMAP diet could make a world of difference. Find out more about this diet that can provide healthy results and help with digestive issues.
What Are FODMAPs?
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fructose (in excess), Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These are types of carbohydrates that the body has a hard time absorbing, but certain gut microbes can easily ferment. You can find them in a wide variety of foods, such as:
- Fruits that are extra high in fructose. These include grapefruit, apples, peaches/nectarines and watermelons.
- Vegetables that are high in these carbs. Some of these are cabbage, chickpeas, snow peas, onions, garlic and artichokes.
- Certain types of breads. The worst of all varieties are rye, sourdough and whole wheat.
- Legumes. Split peas contain more than most, but red kidney beans and soy are also heavy sources.
- Milk that contains lactose.
- Sugar alcohols. Sorbitol and mannitol also fall into this category.
FODMAPs can enable fast fermentation in the gut, which may lead to gas, bloating, pain and changes in motility, especially in susceptible individuals.
The IBS Connection
FODMAPs may contribute to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which could be a factor in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. People with medical conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism and scleroderma could be at particular risk for FODMAP-related digestive issues. Over time, the resulting inflammation can lead to malnutrition and other related health issues. Your doctor can check you for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth with a simple breath test. If you do have this issue, you might be able to limit your symptoms with some changes to your diet.
The first place to start is with a symptom diary and an elimination of all high-FODMAP foods. Keep track of everything you eat each day, along with any symptoms you experience afterward. After 6 to 8 weeks, you’ll likely be instructed to re-challenge different foods, one at a time, to see if you’re safe to include any of them in your long-term diet. Foods that cause your symptoms to return may need to get the boot for good.
Considerations and Limitations
Many people who believe they’re sensitive to gluten could, in fact, be reacting to the FODMAPS in bread, pasta and the like. These people may see improvement in their symptoms when they cut out gluten-containing foods — many of which might be big contributors to excessive gut fermentation. There’s some overlap in foods high in both FODMAPs and gluten, so it can be easy to confuse one for the other when looking for a cause to GI symptoms.
Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting an elimination diet. You could fall short on some nutrients if you cut out too many foods, and that could do more harm than good. Also, be aware that there are no labeling requirements for FODMAPS, so see about getting the help of a nutritionist if you’re unsure where to start.
What kinds of FODMAPs are in your diet? If you suffer from frequent intestinal issues, it might be worth your while to try eliminating them for a while. You could unlock an exciting new side to your health.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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