What are FODMAPs?
To understand this specialized diet, one must know what “FODMAPs” are. FODMAPs are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods naturally or as food additives. they include fructose, when in excess of glucose, fructans, galactooligosaccharides (GOS), lactose and polyols (eg. sorbitol and mannitol). A diet low in FODMAPs is scientifically proven, and is now used intensionally, as the most effective dietary therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Such symptoms include excessive Gas, Abdominal Pain, Bloating and distension, Nausea and changes in bowel habits (Diarrhea and/or Constipation). A Low FODMAP Diet has also been proven to reduce symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, and poor concentration.
What Does FODMAP Mean?
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:
Fermentable – meaning they are broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel.
Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain.
Disaccharides – “di” means two. This is a double sugar molecule.
Monosaccharides – “mono” means single. This is a single-sugar molecule.
Polyols – these are sugar alcohols (however don’t lead to intoxication!)
How Does a Low-FODMAP Diet Help?
FODMAP foods are poorly absorbed, highly osmotic and rapidly fermented by GI bacteria, leading to increased water and gas in the GI tract, which then leads to GI tract distention that causes changes in GI motility, bloating, discomfort and flatulence. To assess your tolerance for these compounds, eliminate foods high in FODMAPs for 6-8 weeks and then gradually reintroduce foods to identify bothersome foods. Reintroduce one food every four days with a 2-week break between bothersome foods. The goal is to identify the threshold at which you are able to consume FODMAP containing foods without causing bothersome GI symptoms.
Board-Certified physicians Dr. Ranvir Singh, Dr. Stephen Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin J. Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, Dr. Ruth Montalvo, Dr. Jae Kim, and providers Tammi D’Elena, PA-C and Vanessa T. Bridgeman, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC; care for patients in the North Atlanta, GA; area including Johns Creek, GA, Cumming, GA, Lawrenceville, GA, Alpharetta, GA, and Dawsonville, GA. The in-house endoscopy suite at Digestive Care Physicians is a certified facility which has achieved the highest level of accreditation by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems, abdominal pain, or need a colorectal cancer screening, contact us at (770) 227-2222 to schedule an appointment.