The first time I heard the name of this diet I thought somebody sneezed! FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. The quick reason we care about these types of sugars is that some people don't absorb them as well as others. If you're a poor absorber of these FODMAPs sugars, they pass your small intestine and stomach and continue moving along into your large intestine where bacteria gobble them up and produce gas as a byproduct.
Well, you guessed it - if your body does not absorb them well, this can lead to a sensation of bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, constipation or other GI upset. In fact, a "low FODMAP diet" is one of the best studied diets used in treating IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
If you suffer from these symptoms or have been labeled with IBS, you may benefit from following this type of diet. It includes reducing intake of these types of sugars and replacing them with proteins and more complex carbohydrates. It's not for everyone, but it certainly can't hurt trying if you experience these issues.
I always enjoy working through a diet history with my patients to identify what might be their triggers and how to best adjust what they are putting in their bodies. And, I know when to ask for help - I work with a number of excellent nutritionists in the community who each offer a specific niche area of expertise!
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.