I first wrote about FODMAPS here on the blog back in March in a post called “FODMAP Free’s the Way to Be?”.
As a reminder FODMAP stands for:
Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides Polyols
These are short-chained sugars found in food that are poorly absorbed by some people. Simply put, these molecules do not get broken down in the small intestine but instead get passed on to the large intestine where they act as a food source for the bacteria that normally live there. Once the bacteria are all fed and happy they produce chemical bi-products which can cause a host of GI issues.
Eating a diet low in these specific sugars removes the food for these bacteria turning their all you can eat buffet into more of an afternoon snack. Without an excess of chemical bi products (in theory) your symptoms should improve.
Back in March, after reading such positive experiences by others (and the fact that I was desperate and ready to try anything to help me not feel awful all the time) I decided to test out a low FODMAP diet for a week and see what happened.
Here’s a recap of my experience:
When you think about it, one week is not a lot of time. After years of eating a certain way did I really think that 7 days would magically cure me?
So now here I am, 8 months later, still going at it.
The strict elimination guidelines are only to be followed at the start. From there you can add back in foods or increase amounts in order to determine what your triggers and thresholds may be. I’ve definitely allowed myself some flexibility and am not incredibly strict when it comes to minute ingredients in some of the things I buy.
However information on FODMAP levels in foods is still widely unknown. Monash University in Melbourne, Australia has become a leader in this area of research and is working on testing various foods and reporting their content. They even recently released an app for Android so this information can be right at your finger tips.
The more user-friendly the better I say!
If you’re not interested in spending the $9.00 for the app, here’s another option:
YorkTest Laboratories, based out of the UK, recently contacted me to share their new handy-dandy reference guide.
Green means go (food is safe). Red means stop (avoid).
While all of this sounds great in theory despite months of low FODMAP eating, I was immersed in the added stress of planning a wedding in another country, and I found myself in a bad, symptom-filled place, once again.
So what’s a girl to do? There was one other test that I had been wanting to try…
I want to know…
Are there any foods you are allergic to or have a bad reaction to?
Any foods that you used to be able to eat but now can’t? (for any reason)