Monday, 22 January 2018

Beginning My Low-FODMAP Journey


Let me tell you something. It's no secret that in my life offline I struggle with irritable bowel syndrome. A sensitive tummy isn't attractive or appealing and I have suffered in silence like so many others for so long.

I always used to avoid telling people I had IBS because it just sounds dreadful and no one likes to talk about bowels, or poo or guts. I was officially diagnosed with IBS a few years ago and recently I have stopped shying away from it so much in order to lead a more happy and comfortable life. I try to make a joke of it when I can because it hits at the most awkward of times like New Years Eve for example! I had friends over and had to keep darting to the toilet because my tummy decided it wasn't happy with what I had eaten/drank that day. Luckily I was in the presence of my own home which made it slightly better. The funny thing was that we played cards against humanity and I was entitled  to start the game because I was the last one to go for a 'number two' (I'm sure you are probably familiar with that rule).

Despite trying to put a nicer spin on it, nothing so far has helped my bloated, painful tummy. It affects me every single day, whether I am out and about, at work or at home. Having to explain to people why you look so uncomfortable in a professional setting is really not fun and very embarrassing. I tend to just shrug it off as 'tummy ache'.

SO, after visiting the doctor multiple times, taking pills that target IBS symptoms and trying to cut out gluten in my diet, with no luck, I turned to the wonderful internet for some advice and came across the low FODMAP diet.

FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:

Fermentable - meaning they are quickly broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel.

Oligosaccharides - 'oligo' means 'few' and 'sacharide' means 'sugar'. The molecules made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain.
(Wheat, onion, garlic, beans)

Disaccharides - 'di' means two - this is a double sugar molecule.
(Milk, ice-cream)

Monosaccharides 'momo' means single - this is a single sugar molecule.
(Apples, pears, honey)

And

Polyols - these are sugar alcohols.
(mushrooms, apricots, gum)

Essentially, it's a diet that restricts high-FODMAP foods before introducing foods with higher FODMAPS to establish what your body can and cannot tolerate to improve the symptoms associated with IBS. The diet is now recommended internationally as the most effective dietary therapy for IBS and a few other nasty disorders. I will very soon be embarking on this journey as I've heard so many good things and really hope it helps! I've put this post together as a bit of research for myself but to also try and help others out there that may also be struggling like me.


To me, this is all pretty daunting as I LOVE food; I am a devoted foodie and limiting myself in this way seems almost impossible but I really need to try. The good thing about this diet is that it's only meant for short term - I'm talking 6-8 weeks, to then reintroduce higher-FODMAP foods back in to your diet to see what might be causing the problems. To help with this, I've ordered a couple of cookbooks (below) that will give me some recipe inspiration. I love that Emma Hatcher is a fellow blogger of She Can't Eat What?! and you can buy her cookbook on Amazon for £13.60.  

If you're struggling with IBS or other gut related disorders, I would love to hear from you! What do you do in your life to help manage the symptoms? Have you tried the Low-FODMAP diet, has it worked? 

Love Amber x
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2 comments

  1. I have never heard of this syndrome, this is something new for me. I am happy that you found a way to eat the things you like!

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    Replies
    1. It's not fun! Glad I am raising awareness though. Thank you :)

      Love Amber x

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