You know the many symptoms of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
From a flat and pain free tummy when you wake up to one that rapidly transforms into a painful bloated and uncomfortable tummy with minutes of your first bite of food.
Or alternating constipation and diarrhea that dictate your every move.
You try to find the least upsetting food for your body and focus on what you need to get done that day.
But every day is different. Food that didn’t cause problems yesterday, causes you problems today.
Painful gas and bloating are a common symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and affects 10% to 15% of the American population. 
Classified as a lower gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, IBS is the chameleon of the GI tract with a variety of symptoms – bloating, distention, diarrhea, constipation or both and physical pain from the symptoms.
One of the most promising IBS clinical trials to date has demonstrated success using a low FODMAP diet to overcome IBS symptoms
FOD what you ask?!
FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosacccharides and Polyols – a group of short chain or small carbohydrate molecules.
FODMAPs attract water into the small intestine making it feel like you swallowed a beach ball.
With nowhere to go, this extra liquid travels to the large intestine along with the undigested FODMAPS .
It’s party time for bacteria in the large intestine, where they ferment and create extra gas in the form of methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide along with waste products from the undigested FODMAPS. This leaves you feeling tired, in pain and unable to do the things you want and need to do.
How can you recognize low FODMAP foods?
Let’s look at each type of FODMAP, symptoms and different foods they’re contained in.
These are further divided into fructans and galacto-oligosaccarides or GOS for short!
Fructans are comprised of several fructose molecules and are found in:
- Leek Bulbs
- Scallion or Spring Onion Bulbs
- Garlic and Onion Powder
- Wheat, Rye, Barley – think in terms of gluten containing grains
- Dried Fruits
- Inulin Fiber
- Chicory Root
Grass eating animals are also susceptible to excess consumption of fructans causing similar effects of gas and bloating. 
Galacto-oligosaccarides or GOS might have a long name but the list of foods is short:
- Legumes – Chickpeas, Lentils, Kidney Beans, Adzuki Beans, Black Beans etc.
Compromised of two monosaccharides, these carbohydrates are found in milk and milk products and include:
- Cottage Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Animal Milk – Cow, Sheep, Goat
- Ice Cream
- Evaporated Milk
Single sugar molecules known as monosaccharides are found in fruits, but also some vegetables and natural sweeteners, such as:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
Adding a vowel makes it easier to pronounce!
Generally found as sugar alcohols such as Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Malitol and Isomalt, polyols are also found naturally in the following foods:
And the most frustrating thing is many foods high in FODMAPs are healthy foods!
Here’s a handy and printable list of FODMAP foods thanks to www.ibsgroup.org.
Now you know about FODMAPs and the foods they’re contained in:
Don’t Go It Alone
Nothing can replace the knowledge and support of a trained professional – especially when dealing with your health and quality of life.
There’s heaps of free information online about IBS, FODMAPs and gut health.
Coconut milk, a common substitute for dairy and nut milks, is high in FODMAPs.
It is recommended to avoid coconut other than coconut oil
The FODMAP diet protocol is divided into two phases.
Phase One is a very restrictive elimination phase of six to eight weeks.
This phase resets your body and relieves symptoms that you have suffered from as long as you can remember.
Phase Two involves the methodical re introduction of FODMAP containing foods with the help of a professional to create a balanced and personalized eating plan.
Without the proper support, knowledge and guidance your diet can become too restrictive and you will miss out on many vital nutrients.
Keep Track of Triggers
Our gut and brain are directly linked and stress of any kind can alter the balance of our gut bacteria. This imbalance contributes to the development of IBS, worsening of symptoms and may induce FODMAP intolerance in ways we’re yet to understand.
Like any good researcher, data is key to identifying and tracking trends – and it’s time you got back to living!
There are many choices for keeping track of food, symptoms and triggers.
Many of my clients find old school pen and paper best while others rely on a tracking apps for phones and tablets. Remember knowledge is your friend!
To get help with a low FODMAP diet, alleviating your symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or if you are too exhausted to know what to do next, I understand.
I would be honored to support you on your path to feeling better and reclaiming your life.