Kung Hei Fat Choi!
Enter the year of the Dragon – with promises of prosperity, good health and luck!
I have recently embarked (by recently I mean i’m on Day 6) of a new diet plan. Years ago, I was diagnosed with IBS (for those of you who don’t know, IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome – sounds pleasant doesn’t it?
Wikipedia (trusty source that it is) defines IBS as: a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. As a functional bowel disorder, IBS has no known organic cause. Diarrhea or constipation may predominate,
Sounds fun doesn’t it? I have tried countless medications to assist in digestion, I have taken so many peppermint oil tablets to aid digestion and have drunk so much peppermint tea that I can’t even keep track anymore. But if you’re lucky enough, like me, you have a friend who is a dietician and who really looks out for your well being. Genuinely.
It goes to show how much doctors really tell you – or maybe they just don’t know enough themselves resulting in a lot of being told “you have IBS, i’m sorry, you just have to deal with it” by doctors, and a lot of “I don’t know what’s wrong with you so it must be IBS” and resulting in you having to take matters into your own hands. For awhile, I did exactly that – just deal. But as I grew up, and learned more about what I could and could not handle, I started eliminating the basics that I knew affected me – Chilli and Dairy. Slowly, I reintroduced them back into my diet, and then just dealt. I was so frustrated.
My amazing friend recommended something called the Low FODMAP diet to me. So when I heard about this I had to find out more – I asked questions and did some research on my own and now I am patiently waiting for a book to arrive in the post.
I had no idea previously, that one of the main causes of IBS is fructose malabsorption, where by absorption of fructose is impaired by deficient fructose carriers in the small intestine’s enterocytes. This results in an increased concentration of fructose in the entire intestine.
Dr. Sue Shepherd developed the low FODMAP diet in 2001. She has proven, through her research, that limiting dietary FODMAPs is an effective treatment for people with symptoms of IBS. On her website she says, FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs is an acronym (abbreviation) referring toFermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols*. These are complex names for a collection of molecules found in food, that can be poorly absorbed by some people. When the molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine of the digestive tract, these molecules then continue along their journey along the digestive tract, arriving at the large intestine, where they act as a food source to the bacteria that live there normally. The bacteria then digest/ferment these FODMAPs and can cause symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include abdominal bloating and distension, excess wind (flatulence), abdominal pain, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both), and other gastro-intestinal symptoms.
I have thus commenced my journey of this new eating plan, and I will (hopefully) post more regularly – giving you background, and insight, in hopes that it might help at least one of you as well.