The FODMAP Experience

In the world of professional careers that you may have not known existed, did you know that there are professionals who specialize in food intolerance?

That’s right, there are trained dietitians who help others discover what makes their stomachs go “bleh!”

But you don’t need to hire a trained dietitian or work with a medical professional to accomplish this. Have you ever heard of the FODMAP Diet? Probably not, and that’s ok, because the science behind it can be confusing. Basically, there are small carbs in certain foods, and these can cause those with sensitive digestive systems serious issues.

The idea of the FODMAP Diet is to look at groups of foods and through trial and error, eliminate a category of foods. Doing so with one group or category of food at a time helps identify what kinds of foods and compounds make the individual sick or reactive. So you can see why the results of this Diet are completely dependent on the individual.

Diet Vs. Disease explains how the FODMAP Diet helps identify which foods are good and which foods are bad for the individual’s digestive system.

Certain foods are known to pull in more water, which causes diarrhea; some foods are high in saccharides and polyols which can cause more gas. Common results are bloating and abdominal distress, but even those symptoms can be negative triggers for those with Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome.

The FODMAP Diet was originally created and is widely used by those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but other syndromes have been noted as greatly benefitting from trying this Diet such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, and many other conditions. Those with EDS have reported significant improvements in their health systems, especially this patient.

I first began the FODMAP Diet two years ago – without even realizing it. One particular experience prompted my personal food trial and error: I had eaten artisan bread dipped in olive oil with dinner, and that night I was literally writhing in pain. I wound up in the emergency room with the diagnosis of “extreme intestinal bloating and gas.” It really was that bad, and I never wanted it to happen again.

Knowing my food groups was handy and with little time I found that dairy was the main culprit of my digestive pain. Cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt and more, I had to add them to the “can’t-eat-list.” Next were vegetables, and I found almost anything green upset my system. After, nuts and legumes were added to the list. I already stopped eating most meats as a child, so there wasn’t too much to eliminate after this, but certainly anything with fructose and artificial sweeteners had to go.

Studies are showing patients report feeling improvements nearly right away.

Diet Vs. Disease states that the FODMAP Diet is meant to be temporary and implemented in phases. So for me, there are many foods I can’t eat anymore without posing serious risk to my health – because now that certain food groups haven’t been in my system for a considerable amount of time, ingesting them now could feel much worse for me than two years ago.

But let’s be real here, just because there is a long list of foods and ingredients I want to stay away from doesn’t mean the list of foods I can ingest is short, and in fact, it’s lead me to discover there’s a whole world of foods out there waiting for me to taste! Letting go of those staple and comfort foods meant discovering and exploring new recipes, new ways of cooking, and ultimately made me braver for all of the endeavors.

Three months ago when my doctor asked me, “Have you heard of the FODMAP Diet?” the answer was no. As she explained what it was I realized that I was already on the right track of EDS-self-management. I highly recommend giving this diet a try if you experience any sensitivities and irregularities with your consumption and digestive track.

The best part is rediscovering you, learning your restrictions, and improving your daily lifestyle for the longevity of your life!

For more information as well as detailed charts of positive and negative foods for those with sensitive systems, visit Diet Vs. Disease’s webpage here.

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