Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an extremely common condition affecting the digestive system, causing symptoms such as bloating, cramps, diarrhea and constipation. Unfortunately, the cause is unknown but it has been linked to particular foods irritating the gut, as well as genetic, lifestyle and physiological factors.
It's important to always consult your GP if you’re experiencing these symptoms, as it can sometimes be mistaken for other medical conditions such as coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease, which will require further investigation. If however, your GP diagnoses IBS, you may be told to follow a Low FODMAP diet to manage your symptoms.
So, what is a Low FODMAP diet?
The word FODMAP stands for:
Oligosaccharides (Fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides, FOS and GOS)
Polyols (sorbitol and mannitol)
Confused? Don't be...these are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. They pass through to the large intestine where the gut bacteria will feed on the molecules, digest, and ferment, causing the symptoms of IBS.