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...), galactans (legumes, cabbage...), polyols (stone fruits, mushrooms...) and lactose (milk, ice cream...). Malabsorption of two of the five FODMAP sugars can be tested through breath testing studies the remainder will be assessed as potential triggers by your dietitian. If you have had breath tests with negative results for both fructose and lactose, there are still three other FODMAP sugars that require attention as potential triggers. The dietitian will also instruct you on whether you need to avoid all FODMAPs or just limit your FODMAP load over the day.
Please be aware that the low FODMAP diet is a relatively new treatment option. As such, research into the dietary strategy continues. Many websites and some practitioners are unaware of the recent research advances in this area and may therefore offer inaccurate advice. The majority of food lists available in books and on the internet are out of date. To ensure you receive the correct information, please consult a dietitian specialising in the field. Some of our dietitians work directly with the team that undertake research into this area and as such we are kept up to date on any changes. If you have received advice on a low FODMAP diet in the past and it has not been effective, it could be that you just need an update. Please visit our appointment information page for details on group and individual consultations designed for this purpose.