FODMAPs broken down.
FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Disaccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols).
Fermentable: The process through which gut bacteria break down undigested carbohydrate to produce gases (hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide).
Oligo-saccharides: Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) found in wheat, rye, onions and garlic etc.
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) found in legumes/pulses etc.
Disaccharides: Lactose found in milk, soft cheese, yoghurts etc.
Mono-saccharide: Fructose (in excess of glucose) found in honey, many fruits and vegetables, high fructose corn syrups etc.
Polyols: Sugar polyols (eg. sorbitol, mannitol) found in some fruit and vegetables and used as artificial sweeteners.
Anyone with irritable bowel syndrome has to try the FODMAP elimination diet since FODMAPs are irritants of IBS. You can be tested for 3 of the FODMAPs – fructose, sorbitol and lactose though a hydrogen test . But intolerance to the others can only be discovered through an elimination diet.
What is fructose malabsorption?
Fructose is only one of the FODMAPs. Fructose should be absorbed through the lining of the small intestine, but when an individual has difficulty doing this, the fructose continues on down to the large intestine where it is treated as a foreign substance which causes the bacteria there to go to town. This results in bloating, diarrhea or constipation, flatulence and stomach pain as a result of muscle spasms. Intolerance to any or all of the FODMAPs will result in the same symptoms.
How has this discovery impacted my health?
Since starting the FODMAP elimination diet, I have found a new lease on life. I didn’t know that one could eat and not feel discomfort and often pain. Now, I know how the rest of the world lives, and it feels like magic. I have recently made some life choices which didn’t have to take into account my digestive system. It feels amazing to not be conditioned by my intestines and to make choices I could never have made before. I repeat – if you have any of the above symptoms or have been diagnosed with IBS, get yourselves tested. I have been to a string of doctors throughout my life and not one mentioned this possibility. I had to discover it myself online and book the test myself.
If anyone has any questions about any of this information, please email me through my contact page. I would be more than happy to help you if I can.