It’s known that about 1 in 6 people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, with symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, pain and wind. These are things that you may just put up with, but can be distressing and have an effect on your quality of life. You may have some vague ideas to connections with some foods, and maybe stress, but it can be very hard to pinpoint particular causes.
For those who have been diagnosed with IBS, until now, NHS treatment has been vague, with only a 30% success rate. Advice has been to increase fibre (often making things worse!), cut out alcohol, high fat foods, and to eat regular meals.
NEW IBS TREATMENT FROM MONASH UNIVERSITY, PERTH & GUY’S & ST THOMAS’ HOSPITAL, LONDON
There is now a new dietary treatment called the ‘low FODMAP diet’ which results in an impressive reduction in symptoms. FODMAP is an acronym for a group of carbohydrates that are rapidly fermented in the gut causing the symptoms. High FODMAP foods are varied and range from wheat & dairy, to apples, onions and garlic, some sweeteners, and lentils to name a few.
Not everyone with IBS has an intolerance to all of the high FODMAP foods, which is why it is very helpful to have the input of a dietitian to guide you through the elimination and reintroduction of FODMAP foods.
The success rate is impressive, with up to 86% of people having a significant improvement of their symptoms. For some, the improvement in quality of life is staggering.
Sasha Watkins, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, explains: ‘Treatment for IBS sufferers is often limited, which is why the emerging success of the low-FODMAP diet – an approach that helps patients discover the precise foods that trigger their symptoms – is excellent news.’
Peter Irving, consultant gastroenterologist at Guys and St Thomas’, says: ‘I can now refer IBS patients for dietetic advice with a greater degree of confidence that their quality of life will improve.’
As a dietitian experienced in the low FODMAP diet, I have seen wonderful improvements in my IBS patients. Most don’t have to restrict their diet of all FODMAP foods in the long term, as together, we have identified their particular problem FODMAP foods.
For more information or a low FODMAP diet consultation, contact me with the form below.