FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are complex names for types of molecules found in the various foods of a normal diet. A diet low in FODMAP foods is used to sort out what food groups are causing issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
From a study published in May 2018 by Swedish scientists that reported the faecal bacterial profiles of 67 patients with IBS, it appears that whether one responds to a low-FODMAP diet can be predicted based on their faecal bacterial profile. Following the study, a January 2019 review article by Australian health scientists highlighted the need for further investigation into the usefulness of a low-FODMAP diet. The scientists involved, from Monash University, extensively reviewed the study's literature and found preliminary evidence that supports bacterial populations in the gut flora can influence a response to a low-FODMAP diet. As outlined in the Swedish study, information about one's faecal microbiota or what's called a 'faecal volatile organic compound profile' could become very useful to determine if they're an ideal candidate for a low-FODMAP diet. In other words, our response to a low-FODMAP diet could perhaps one day be predicted by our faecal samples.
At The Innovative Dietitian, we're excited to announce that we have many dietitians who are certified in Monash University's FODMAP training and they're ready to help you get more out of your diet. When we assist clients with FODMAP, it often consists of three phases:
Phase #1 - Elimination
Replace FODMAP foods with low-FODMAP alternatives.
Phase #2 - Reintroduction
Gradually reintroduce specific FODMAP foods and observe the results.
Phase #3 - Adaptation
Establish a new long-term diet that avoids only the problematic FODMAP foods.
Please seek advice from your dietitian before permanently changing your diet, especially if you have symptoms that might be described as bloating or swelling in the stomach, gas, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation.
Bennet SMP, Böhn L, Störsrud S, et al Multivariate modelling of faecal bacterial profiles of patients with IBS predicts responsiveness to a diet low in FODMAPs Gut 2018;67:872-881. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313128
Mitchell H, Porter J, Gibson PR, Barrett J, Garg M. Review article: implementation of a diet low in FODMAPs for patients with irritable bowel syndrome—directions for future research. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019;49:124–139.https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.15079