Saturday, July 7, 2012

FODMAPs Part II, with Handout!

If you have been following this blog or my Facebook page you are probably somewhat aware that I do my best to follow a low FODMAP diet.  To this day, the post Could FODMAPs be Related to GP? written back in November, 2011 is the most viewed on this website.  Since then, I have become much more familiar with this strange acronym by reading articles, books, and posts from other bloggers, listening to podcasts from healthcare practitioners and talks through medical universities. In addition, I've learned from personally working with registered dietitians as well as my own clients who seem to feel better when limiting these dietary carbohydrates.

So, lets do a quick Q & A review to recap what this is all about.
What are FODMAPs?

Stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols.  Specifically, these include lactose, fructose, fructans, polyols, and galactans/GOS found in common foods such as apples and pears, artichokes and asparagus, milk products, wheat and certain sweeteners like honey and agave.

What happens when someone is sensitive to FODMAPs?

According to Patsy Catsos, author of IBS-Free at Last, "In some people, ingested FODMAP carbohydrates are not absorbed as they should be in the small intestine; instead, they pass through the far end of the small intestine and into the large intestine." Bacteria that thrive in the colon basically feed off this food, giving off gas from fermentation and causing the sensation we know as bloating.  This process also draws water into the large intestine, further contributing to bloating and possible diarrhea or constipation.

How do I know if a low FODMAP diet will help me?

Common symptoms are very similar and in line with both IBS and GP.  They may include bloating or abdominal distention, gas (rumbling, flatulence or wind), abdominal discomfort, nausea, fullness, diarrhea and/or constipation.  
You may be able to find a local healthcare practitioner who can test for fructose and lactose intolerance.  There is also the option to test at home by ordering a kit through
If you suspect an intolerance it might be helpful to follow a low-FODMAP diet for 1-2 weeks and slowly re-introduce foods to see how your body reacts.  This is best done (especially when living with other health conditions such as GP) under the guidance of a registered dietitian.  Finding a specialist can sometimes be difficult but here is a directory to get started.

My personal experience with this diet combined with a nourishing GP plan has improved my symptoms of bloating, pain, and nausea.  As a Health Coach I am happy to provide additional support to anyone interested in finding out if this may help you on your own journey.

Below you will find a handout that combines both FODMAP and GP ideas.  Because I am neither a registered dietitian nor a medical doctor, this guide is for information purposes only, based on a compilation of resources (see list below) and my personal experience.  Following a restricted diet for GP alone can be difficult so be sure to always consult with a healthcare professional when considering dietary changes.  Remember we are all very different when it comes to the foods we can tolerate so be sure to keep that in mind when trying anything new.
To read a post from dietician Kate Scarlata (who by the way is a fantastic resource) about my experience click here.

*GP FODMAP Handout*

Helpful Resources
IBS-Free at Last by Patsy Catsos,
Kate Scarlata, R.D.
University of Virginia's Low FODMAP Diet
Aglae'e, the Paleo Dietitian's website


  1. All your posts and information are inspiring and encouraging for those of us suffering and confused. Thank you for all your efforts and dedication to helping others! It's much appreciated.

  2. Katie left this message 8-15 and I accidentally deleted it:
    Thank you so much for posting this! I also have recently been diagnosed with GP and SIBO and am trying to follow a GP/low FODMAP diet and am finding it very difficult to manage how much fiber I eat over the course of the day. I'm finding that most low FODMAP foods also have a lot of fiber, and I'm definitely eating way too many fruits and vegetables. Could you maybe post what a sample day for you is like in terms of the foods you eat? That would be extremely helpful!