Over the past few years many people have switched to gluten free in an attempt to manage disorderly IBS problems.
And while many have seen an alleviation in symptoms, not all have.
The reason for this is many people have an additional reaction to a different kind of food substance commonly found in gluten free foods.
So what gives, why do some people go gluten free and still suffer gas, bloating, diarrhea, mental fog, and other symptoms related to IBS?
The reason is people react to sugar and fiber proteins known as FODMAPs. FODMAPs stands stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
Essentially these fibers and sugars are unable to be digested by the body so they rot inside of the digestive tract which can cause many of the issues people who suffer from IBS are trying to escape
An Australian physician, herself a sufferer of celiac disease (allergy to gluten) was the one who discovered FODMAPS.
After Sue Shepard went gluten free and saw no improvement in symptoms she conducted research to see why she was still in pain.
What she found led her on a path to better health.
As she said in an interview with Yahoo News.
“Exciting research shows that it may have been the fructans (sugars/fibers) all along that were triggers for symptoms in non-celiac gluten-sensitive patients,” Shepherd told Yahoo Food. “The scenario is possible when you think about it. People felt some improvement eating gluten-free foods, so assumed it was gluten that was the problem – but by restricting gluten, a person has actually simultaneously restricted some of their fructan intake when avoiding wheat, rye and barley,”
From her discoveries she was able to develop the Low FODMAP diet which when followed correctly can help 75% off IBS sufferers see either a reduction, or an elimination of symptoms.
The diet breaks down foods with High FODMAPS (ones that shouldn’t be eaten due to the presence of FODMAPS) and low FODMAPs.
People are encouraged to eat low FODMAP foods to avoid experiencing the common symptoms associated with IBS.
As Yahoo News Notes the diet isn’t permanent like a gluten free diet:
Education is key to getting and maintaining relief, since there are major misconceptions about the diet. Shepherd said the biggest one is that people think it’s permanent one-step elimination. “Each individual has a different tolerance for the amount of FODMAPs they can ingest before getting symptoms, and sensitivity triggers also differ for each person,” she said. So while some foods on the list may bother your stomach, others may not.
The two-part process starts by completely cutting the FODMAP list of foods out of your diet for two months. “This first strict phase isn’t encouraged for the long-term – it’s only meant to be an eight-week restriction,” Shepherd said. Then, FODMAP-containing foods are introduced back into the diet to see what can be tolerated without symptoms arising again.
That there is a another diet to follow is both good news and bad news.
The good news is if you went gluten free to get rod of IBS symptoms there might be an explanation why nothing has improved.
The bad news is some of your favorite foods now might be off limits for good.
Sometimes it pays to suffer, others, not so much.