If you have ever had irritable bowel syndrome, you know exactly how disruptive and chaotic it can be for your life. There are few words that are able to describe the stress, both physical and mental, that it typically causes in most sufferers’ lives. However, there are a few simple tweaks that you can make in your life that can actually have a huge effect on the severity of your IBS. Changing what you eat to match a well-researched IBS diet is one of the most effective and lowest cost treatments you can use in your battle against irritable bowel syndrome.
What is an IBS Diet?
It would stand to reason that the primary thing that any IBS diet would focus on is eating less of the foods that have been proven to irritate the gastrointestinal tract. This is exactly what is recommended under the FODMAPS diet, which is the premier diet based treatment for IBS. Adhering to this diet will reduce your IBS symptoms significantly, sometimes to the point where you don’t experience any of your old symptoms.
Now, before we get into the specifics, let’s break down exactly what FODMAPS means.
With the exception of “fermentable”, all of these words probably don’t make much sense. But, there is a commonality between them all – the suffix saccharide. This is just a fancy word for carbohydrate – and carbohydrate is a fancy word for sugar.
To break down the words even further, let’s take a look at monosaccharides. Monosaccharides are the building blocks of all carbohydrates and are also known as simple sugars.
A disaccharide is just what it sounds like: a pair of monosaccharides, or two simple sugars.
An oligosaccharide is a clump of simple sugars that is greater than two. Basically, they are just a bunch of monosaccharides all lumped into one thing.
Lastly, the polyols. These are the artificial sweeteners or organic sweeteners that are not sugars, but taste like sugar. Things like Xylitol or Sorbitol fall into this category.
Why Sugar is Evil for Your IBS Diet
When you really look at it, the FODMAPS list essentially targets sugar in all forms as something to remove from your diet if you want to quell the symptoms of IBS. The question you might be asking yourself at this point is, “Why is sugar SO bad for me if I have irritable bowel syndrome?” It’s a very valid question and the answer isn’t immediately obvious, so let’s dig into it.
The most common IBS symptoms are primarily located in the large and small intestine, and are a result of poorly digested foods and their reaction with the bacteria in your intestinal tract. FODMAPS foods are foods that do not get digested well by your small intestine and make it to your large intestine relatively intact. There, they mix with the bacteria in your gut and react in a way that causes almost all of your intestinal IBS symptoms. That means bloating, water retention, farting, and other types of symptoms.
The Worst FODMAP
While there are a lot of FODMAPS foods, the worst of all are any foods that contain fructose – the fruit sugar. Fructose is especially troublesome for sufferers of IBS because of how prevalent it is in our modern diets. You can find it in all fruits and fruit-related products. It’s also used as a sweetener in literally thousands of products in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Everyone has heard of HFCS because it is simply in almost any packaged or processed food that you could purchase, no matter where you are in the world. This is what makes fructose the worst FODMAPS food – not because it is any worse for your intestinal tract, but simply because it is so common that it feels impossible to avoid.
Learn How to Avoid FODMAPS Foods
We will teach you exactly how to remove the FODMAPS foods from your diet safely and effectively. Within no time at all you’ll be moving towards the IBS diet that can help cure your IBS symptoms once and for all. It’s great that there are a lot of products out there to help you do this, but we feel that the natural approach to eating is going to yield the best results. Check out the rest of our resources on IBS diet strategies, plans, tips and tricks. Pretty soon you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do this years ago!