Why FODMAPs?

For those of you who don’t know me personally this might seem like an odd subject to dedicate a blog to but there is a reason for it.

I have been struggling with gastrointestinal issues for close to a decade. I’ve gone through every test of the planet and all of them came back normal but no one could explain why I struggled to eat and even function on a day to day basis. I had been to four different gastroenterologists and four nutritionists before finally settling on the plan for FODMAP elimination, and surprisingly it worked.

Now I suppose you’re wondering what FODMAPs are unless you are here as a result of a Google search after being put on this diet yourself. Well they are fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols. Crystal clear right?

No? Well basically they are a subset of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by your small intestine so they sit around for awhile. Just like anything sweet they are hard to resist when they are just out there for the taking so they are appealing to the bacteria that live in your intestine. When bacteria eat FODMAPs they end up producing gas in a process called fermentation leading to bloating and discomfort. On top of that they can act like a sponge and hold fluid in the intestines.

So the goal behind avoiding these is to eliminate the things that cause discomfort in your diet. As with any diet you should consult with your doctor or a nutritionist before embarking on it. Generally you avoid all FODMAPs for a period until you start to feel better. Then you slowly start to add things back in observing the changes you experience. The goal is to eventually add back most food to have a varied and nutritious diet.

At this point I’m still pretty much on the elimination phase. I have been in the elimination phase for a little over a month and have been doing well. The only thing I’ve had added back in is ice cream as long as I take Lactaid and honestly I’ve done really well on the elimination diet. Well enough that I’m planning on continuing it. Note why I’m starting this blog as I start to explore recipes that are FODMAP free!