FODMAP intolerance

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These are a group of short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed. In people with gastrointestinal symptoms, a diet high in FODMAPs can induce diarrhoea and/or constipation, bloating, wind and abdominal pain.

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These are a group of short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed. In people with gastrointestinal symptoms, a diet high in FODMAPs can induce diarrhoea and/or constipation, bloating, wind and abdominal pain.

The major FODMAPs are fructose (honey, apples, pears…), fructans (wheat, rye, onions…), GOS (legumes, cabbage…), polyols (sorbitol and mannitol in stone fruits, mushrooms…) and lactose (milk, ice cream…).

Why is it important to work with us when following a low FODMAP diet?

The low FODMAP diet is not one diet for all. It is essential it is fine tuned to the individual. Not all FODMAPs will be a trigger for you and the diet can be very easy to follow in many cases once it is individualised for you. In addition, a low FODMAP diet should never be followed strictly long term. FODMAPs are prebiotic, meaning they encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut and are important for long term gut health. Studies have shown that a strict low FODMAP has a negative effect on gut bacteria. So please come and discuss your low FODMAP diet needs with us.

A few words on breath testing:

  • Malabsorption of lactose can be tested through breath testing studies. We have lactose home breath testing kits available for sale in our clinics.
  • The remainder of the FODMAP triggers will be assessed as potential triggers by your dietitian
  • Breath testing to fructose, sorbitol and mannitol are offered by breath testing clinics, but recent research has demonstrated that these offer little value in defining what you need to avoid on a low FODMAP diet
    • The osmotic effect of these sugars that occurs regardless of absorption, means that they need to be considered as triggers regardless of breath test outcomesIf you have had a breath test in the past and relied on it to direct your low FODMAP diet plan, you should discuss this further with one of our dietitians.
  • If you have had a breath test in the past and relied on it to direct your low FODMAP diet plan, you should discuss this further with one of our dietitians.