Fermentable Sugars: FODMAPs

Another dietary approach for symptoms such as excessive wind, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea and constipation, is to limit fermentable carbohydrates in the diet. The term FODMAPS has been coined: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides AND Polyols.

Kim can help you with dietary instruction. To make an appointment go to clinical appointments.

You are advised to see a Specialist doctor initially to ensure there is no underlying disease that can be treated. If this has been ruled out, an investigation to find possible dietary triggers for your symptoms could be undertaken.

Saccharide is another word for sugar. This range of sugars are found in a variety of different foods. If some of these sugars are poorly absorbed in the gut, they draw fluid into the bowel which can lead to diarrhoea. The undigested sugar may also be fermented by bowel bacteria which increases the gas produced and can lead to bloating and wind problems.

This diet is not targeting the sugar found in cakes and candies, but rather the short chain carbohydrate sugars found in wheat products, legumes, dairy and certain fruit and vegetables, that are resistant to digestion.

A dietary investigation can be done to see if you are sensitive to some of these different types of short-chain carbohydrates. Monash University information will be used to help investigate this.

Foods containing the relevant sugars will be removed from the diet for several weeks to see if there is improvement to symptoms. If symptoms improve, food s that represent each of the short chain carbohydrate groups are then eaten one by one, to test which fermentable sugar groups bring back reactions and which ones do not. Foods containing fermentable sugars that did not cause reactions, can then go back to the diet.

Again, the outcome of this food investigation is not to totally avoid all FODMAPS, but rather to limit quantities of only the foods in the diet which are found to cause a problem. FODMAPs actually feed the good bacteria in the gut, so total avoidance is not recommended in the long term.

It is of course impossible to alter the FODMAPs sugar content of the diet without affecting the food chemical content and vice versa……. you can’t alter the FODMAPs foods without also decreasing the food chemical load. It may be possible that combined theories work best in some people.