What are the FODMAPs & How Can They Affect IBS?

 

FODMAPs is an acronym used to describe a group of small carbohydrate molecules located in  a variety of common foods.  Carbohydrates provide the body with a great source of energy for vital everyday functions.  However, in some people FODMAPs are poorly absorbed during digestion as they quickly move through the digestive tract straight into the large intestine.  When these small molecules reach the large intestine water is drawn into the colon resulting in fermentation and digestion.  As the particles are fermented by gut-bacteria, gases are released causing many to experience side-effects such as, cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea.

Fermentable Sugars that are digested by bacteria in the colon (large intestine)
Oligosaccharides Short chains of carbohydrate molecules linked togetherIe. Fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides
Disaccharides Two carbohydrate molecules linked togetherIe. Lactose
Monosaccharides Single Carbohydrate moleculesIe. Fructose
And
Polyols Sugar alcohols which humans can only partially digest and absorb

What Foods Are FODMAPS Found In?

FODMAPs are found in numerous foods items and in almost every food group.  Fruits, vegetables, dairy products and sweeteners all contain them.  The amount an individual can handle as well as what foods cause problems does vary from person to person.  

High FODMAP Foods:

  • Fruit- apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, figs, lychees, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, watermelon
  • Grain- barley, large amounts of rye and wheat
  • Legumes- baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans
  • Milk Products- cow, goat or sheep milk, soft cheeses, custard, ice cream, margarine, yogurt
  • Nuts- cashews, pistachios
  • Sweeteners- isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol
  • Vegetables- avocados, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, pumpkin, snow peas, beets

Low FODMAP Foods:

  • Fruit- bananas, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, lemons, limes, oranges, passion fruit, strawberries, raspberries
  • Grain- gluten-free breads and cereals, rice pasta, rice cakes, oatmeal and spelt grains
  • Legumes- firm tofu
  • Milk Products- cheddar, lactose-free products, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss
  • Sweeteners- table sugar, maple syrup
  • Vegetables- bok choy, bean sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, celery, chives, eggplant, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach

How Can FODMAPs affect Individuals with IBS?

Contrary to what some may believe, FODMAPs do not cause IBS or any other digestive conditions.  FODMAPs only onset the symptoms of such conditions.  When FODMAPs enter the colon through the digestive process, they signal water to enter and bacteria begins to ferment.  The intestine is then stretched as a result of water and gases filling the colon  which signals the nerves of digestive system organs.   

The nerves of these organs are ultra sensitive for those who suffer from IBS.  So sensitive in fact that the smallest imbalance of contents in the gut can cause an overload to the nervous system resulting in symptoms of IBS.

How Can I Reduce my IBS Symptoms?

A study performed in Australia examined a low vs high FODMAPs diet and the results both have on the digestive system.  The study found a low FODMAPs diet to be extremely effective for the treatment and management of IBS.  This particular study determined that following such diet may reduce IBS symptoms by 75% in patients affected by the digestive disorder.

How Can Colonics Help?

Many individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome often experience chronic constipation, diarrhea and in some cases a mix of both.  Colon hydrotherapy is a method often used to effectively provide relief from these digestive conditions.  When an individual experiences frequent diarrhea they tend to feel their bowel is clean, however that is far from the truth.  Diarrhea in any scenario, is the body’s way of identifying and trying to flush out toxic invaders.  IBS typically onsets a variety of food sensitivities which is why the body sees these foods as toxic.  Every time an individual consumes a food or ingredient they are sensitive to the body produces an inflammatory response resulting in a variety of unwanted symptoms and signs of IBS.  IBS with constipation stems from improper digestion.   

Routine colon hydrotherapy sessions are necessary to eliminate toxic waste from the colon in its’ entirety.  During the session water is used to gently soften old stool and stimulate peristalsis so waste can be eliminated naturally.  Each session exercises the bowel to tone and strengthen the muscle back to a healthy state.  When the bowel regains strength, bowel movements become much more regular and efficient.    

Posted by Meaghan LaFranca, M.Sc, Nutritionist, Colon Therapist

References:

http://www.cdhf.ca/bank/document_en/32-fodmaps.pdf

May 05, 2016 by

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