does the FODMAP diet really work?
IBS is a common struggle that affects more than one out of 10 people around the world. While it isn’t as dangerous as many other health conditions, the discomforts associated with IBS can significantly impact an individual’s mental health and overall quality of life.
One increasingly common way to address IBS is through the FODMAP diet. While the FODMAP acronym has become a buzzword, though, does the diet really work? Let’s dig into the details and see if the FODMAP option is a good way to manage IBS symptoms.
what is the FODMAP diet?
Before considering the effectiveness of the FODMAP diet, it’s worth briefly defining what the diet is. The acronym FODMAP stands for
While these may seem like intimidating terms, when you boil it down, all FODMAPs are simply one of a group of fermentable, poorly digestible short-chain carbohydrates.
The FODMAP diet offers a way to identify which of these foods is particularly detrimental to an individual’s digestive system. According to Monash University, the three steps of the FODMAP diet consists of:
- Significantly reducing the number of FODMAP foods that you’re eating.
- Methodically reintroducing FODMAP foods to help identify which ones trigger symptoms.
- Tailoring the FODMAP diet to meet your particular dietary needs.
While the FODMAP diet is growing in popularity, the question that still remains is if it actually works.
Is the FODMAP diet backed by science?
It’s easy to see something as simple as tailoring your diet and wonder if it can actually work. However, the amount of research and investment that has been poured into the creation of the FODMAP diet is anything but simple.
The process of identifying the foods responsible for many functional gastrointestinal symptoms and then developing a personalized dietary system to manage those foods takes a lot of research. In addition, supplementary studies have been conducted to confirm that the results of the FODMAP diet are real.
One such study utilized six RCTs (randomized control trials) and 16 non-randomized interventions to analyze the effectiveness of the FODMAP diet. The result was reported as a significant reduction in the IBS-SSS score (a system to gauge aggregate abdominal pain) for participants.
In addition, overall IBS QOL (quality of life) scores increased, and test participants found that the symptom severity of their abdominal pain decreased. The conclusion of the study stated that, while further long-term FODMAP data should be pursued, “The present meta-analysis supports the efficacy of a low FODMAP diet in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal symptoms.”
how Intoleran and the FODMAP Diet work together
While the FODMAP diet is a rising star in the IBS world, it isn’t the only way to enjoy a pain-free meal. Intoleran has also worked hard to ensure that we remain FODMAP-friendly. In fact, many of our products have been Monash certified (Monash University is the official creator and overseer of the FODMAP diet.)