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The Low Fodmap Diet

Health & Fitness

The Low Fodmap Diet

This post is also available in: English

Most of us living in Thailand have some interests or concerns over health and fitness issues, so Inspire will each week share some of the most relevant articles for you

What is the low FODMAP diet?

Fodmap is the term coined for easily fermentable, poorly absorbed carbohydrates that feed our bowel bacteria and cause gas and discomfort for many people. The low Fodmap diet restricts these carbohydrates (fermentable oligo, di and mono saccharides and polyols) and can bring huge relief to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) sufferers.

Professor Robin Spiller of the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre suggests that Fodmaps affect people differently and are particularly problematic for those whose bowels are hyper sensitive to stretch – that the degree of pain experienced depends on the sensitivity of the nerve endings in the bowel.

In their book ‘The Complete Low Fodmap Diet’, Dr Sue Shepherd and Dr Peter Gibson point out that we all differ in our ability to digest and absorb different Fodmaps. Absorption of the monosaccharide fructose is slow in all of us but very slow in some, some of us don’t have sufficient lactase to break down the disaccharide lactose and how we absorb the polyols such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol differs from one individual to another. These authors also emphasise that the effects of Fodmaps in the diet is cumulative so if someone is sensitive to lactose and fructose and has both at one meal the effect will be greater than if they were to only have eaten one of those foods at a meal.


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