Guffs and Bellyaches -Trials and Tribulations of FODMAPs

Sounds quite scary huh? Sounds to me a little like something incurable and possibly involving a nasty rash. Actually, FODMAPs refers to the fermentable sugars in the foods we eat.

Last year, I finally caved in and sought advice from a dietician to try to work out what was making me bloat up periodically. I’m well known amongst my friends for being a bit ‘windy’; what they didn’t appreciate was that (how to phrase this…) the wind ‘not released into the wild’, was causing me more problems than that let fly free!

 By chance I came across a lovely dietician, who just happened to specialise in bloating and FODMAPs (Monica Kubizniak of BJC Health). See, the idea is that a diet rich in fermentable sugars that aren’t absorbed correctly by the gut, are basically left IN the gut for a while – to bubble away, and release gas. The gas causes the uncomfortable bloating. I did a week’s food diary which revealed my lovely healthy diet was absolutely chock full of fermentable sugars. Having established that I don’t have anything nasty such as celiac or Crohn’s disease, I started an elimination diet to clear me of all the major FODMAPs groups. These are:

F: Fermentable

O: oligo-saccharides

D: di-saccharides

M: mono-saccharides

A: and!

P: polyols

In practise this means sugars such as fructose (common fruit sugar), fructans (eg wheat), lactose (milk sugar), galactans (such as cabbage, pulses).

My first sad face occurred as soon as I realised wine and beer are in the polyols group and I’d have to exclude them (though I understand that latest thinking is they are considered FODMAP safe, they weren’t when I was doing this). This was hard! I feel I know a bit about food science and nutrition, I had support at home for the diet and we’re adventurous eaters, and so I found the process of excluding foods in particular groups wasn’t too hard; but all the same I was glad of the big list of OK and not OK foods my dietician provided me with. And a list of ‘safe’ brands.

The process was to clear my body as best as possible of the problematic sugars, and then add them back in, one group at a time, noting carefully the effect on my gut. Of course this is a really subjective thing, and my symptoms aren’t that severe, so it wasn’t always a clear cut result. The detailed food and symptom diary I kept really helped with this.

In my next post I’ll describe the process in more detail, and reveal the results!

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4 thoughts on “Guffs and Bellyaches -Trials and Tribulations of FODMAPs

  1. Interesting… I had something similar, and it’s all in the past now I have lost 13ks and eat NO CARBS (and we all know wine is not a carb!) but all others are banned, and of course these are right in your FODthinggie food groups… take a look here also, for some interesting reads.. http://www.sarahwilson.com.au who wrote the I Quit Sugar book – which I tried but even at the time before my no carbs diet I didn’t eat much sugar, no fizzy drinks except G&T anyway 😉 Anyway, reading with interest and looking forward to part 2.

    • I’ll check that link out Deb, thanks. FODMAPs is definitely not about being no carbs; it’s about being aware of which sugar groups may be contributing to a bloating/discomfort issue. Hope you find the next installment of use!

      • This is so scientific and so you…If only I could be this organised. I would love Mr O to read try FODMAPs out. He suffers more than me…

  2. Pingback: Gluten Free Muffin-ettes, that are actually damn fine! | lefthandedchopsticks

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