Most doctors now recommend a low-FODMAP diet for individuals with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). The diet is basically the first food-based treatment proven effective for minimizing IBS symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas.
About 75% of irritable bowel syndrome patients experience symptom relief with support and good compliance. The diet is a little tricky and requires a commitment to make sure you choose foodstuffs consistent with the diet.
That means you won’t want to take a diet during a time when you are extra busy. This is why if you are looking to transition to a low FODMAP diet successfully, the following are tips to look at:
1. Plan Your Meals Ahead and Be Organized
Allocate time on your day off to plan a list of snacks and meals which are low-FODMAP for a whole week. It can be as easy as having staples for breakfast, freezing some dinner meals, bulk-cooking, or organizing snacks to take to your office if you lack time to cook on weekdays.
Being organized also means you will be less likely to get caught out without a low-FODMAP diet food option. And at the same time, you are more likely to take foodstuffs, which are low-FODMAP.
2. Know Foodstuffs to Limit and Include
Protein foods, like fish, poultry, and meats, are free of FODMAP. Some marinated and processed meats may have high FODMAP ingredients. These may include onion and garlic.
But not very meat products have these ingredients. This is why discussing your options with a qualified dietitian is best.
Low-FODMAP foodstuffs that you may have more than high and medium FODMAP include potatoes, quinoa, butter, seeds, tuna, strawberries, and lettuce.
At the same, you will need to limit or avoid FODMAP foodstuffs, like:
- Breaded fish
- Battered/breaded meats
- Asparagus, beans, scallions, and shallots
3. Consult a Doctor
Before you start a new diet, you might want to consult a healthcare expert or doctor. This helps to ensure your doctor rules out medical issues which can be causing IBS symptoms.
Other medical conditions which cause similar symptoms are bowel cancer, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease, among other inflammatory bowel illnesses. If either of these illnesses goes unchecked, they may result in long-term damage to your body.
4. Keep a Food Diary or Journal
It is helpful to track what you eat and how you feel afterward. It might be hard to recall everything and keep a food diary/journal that most dietitians recommend.
Of course, it may be helpful for you. However, a dietitian needs to review it to make some suggestions.
You may use the old-school way to keep a food diary or journal. But apps are more suitable. Some of the popular apps you can use are Cara Care (Android and iPhones) and Bowelle (iPhones).
Low-FODMAP diet is an effective way of reducing symptoms related to IBS and identifying food triggers. But this isn’t always a perfect option for every individual, as there are several things to consider.
For many individuals, what triggers IBS symptoms is multifactorial. So it is important to learn how to manage your IBS symptoms from different angles.