Picture for How To Beat The Bloat

How To Beat The Bloat

Are you back from your summer holidays and feeling a bit bloated? Or is it a longer term problem you'd like to address? If you suffer from regular bloating, stomach cramps, tiredness, and irregularity going to the toilet then you could be suffering from IBS.


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:

Fermentable

Oligosaccharides (Fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides, FOS and GOS)

Disaccharides (lactose)

Monosaccharides (fructose)

And

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.


So, what do you need to avoid? 
Fructose - found in apples, pears, honey, and many processed foods (check the labels!) 
Fructans – found in artichokes, garlic, onions, wheat, rye, barley 
Lactose –  found in milk and dairy products
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) - found in lentils, chickpeas, peas, kidney beans, and other legumes
Polyols - apricots, nectarines, mushrooms, prunes as well as artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol. The list is endless so do check the labels of any processed food you are eating!

Everyone reacts differently when following a low FODMAP diet, so it is important that it is tailored to your specific needs.

The first phase lasts for at least 4 weeks and involves 
identification, through elimination and restriction of all high FODMAP foods. The second phase involves gradually reintroducing the foods that are restricted to begin with. This gives you an idea of the amount of FODMAP that can be tolerated so that you can establish a long-term, LOW FODMAP diet.

Sounds hard to follow? We have some delicious recipes for you to try.

Click here to try out some Low FODMAP recipes!

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