Earlier this year my GP recommended I try a low FODMAP diet to try to improve my symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I went to see him because I had been either pregnant or breastfeeding for the best part of 2 years and hadn’t taken any medication for IBS during that time. With baby number 2 now on the horizon, I felt like I wouldn’t have relief from my symptoms any time soon, a thought that was starting to get me down.
When he initially suggested the diet I was sceptical. I’d never noticed any difference in my symptoms based on what I’d eaten. But I went away and read up on it, and thought I’d give it a go- I had nothing to lose by trying it. I’ve been amazed to discover food intolerances I never knew I had. I feel better than I have in years without the need for medication. I finally have a bit of control back over my body.
I’m not alone either. A low FODMAP diet has been clinically proven to reduce symptoms in approximately 75% of people with IBS.
It’s quite complex, so I’m going to break it down into several blog posts, with lots of yummy recipes along side it (check out this week’s recipe for key lime pie with a twist). Over the next few weeks, I’ll cover each of the four groups of carbohydrates that make up the FODMAPs:
- Oligosaccharides (fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides)
- Disaccharides (lactose)
- Monosaccharides (fructose)
One of the first things I did when I was finding out about the low FODMAP diet was to buy a book that explains it in great detail. ‘The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet‘ (affiliate link) was written by the people who originally developed the diet and carried out the clinical trials, so they really know their sh*t (excuse the pun, haha!). It’s got loads of recipes in too, but not a huge selection of vegetarian ones, which is why I’m sharing my vegetarian recipes here.
Please note: this diet can reduce symptoms in people who have been diagnosed with IBS (that’s by a proper doctor, not Dr Google). If you have symptoms that include a change in bowel habit you must visit your doctor as this can be a sign of lots of nasty things.