If you’ve had problems with gas or bloating, then you may be familiar with the Low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides; Disaccharides; Monosaccharides; and Polyols. These are different sugars known to aggravate the gut causing diarrhea, constipation, intestinal bloating, gas and abdominal pain.
The Low FODMAP diet is recommended for 2-6 weeks then gradually re-introducing foods.
Basics of the Gastrointestinal system:
Food is chewed, works its way down the oesophagus, break down begins in the stomach then continues to the small intestine which is 6 metres long, and the large intestine which is 1.5 metres long. Bowel transit time varies, but 12 to 48 hours is the average time to move food from the mouth to the anus. This means that the digestive issues you have may not have been from the last meal, but perhaps one of the previous meals, so it is hard to pinpoint the problem foods without some functional testing.
The problem I come across in clinic is that I see people who have been on a low FODMAP diet for too long because they are afraid of reintroducing foods, or have tried and had bad results. This restricted diet can lead to deficiencies over long term. The worst part is that these deficiencies also mean that the nutrients necessary for healing the gut are simply not available.
Food elimination is only the first step of solving our digestive issues. Healing of the gut is the next step to beat digestive disturbances for good.