Are you on the low FODMAP diet but your symptoms aren’t getting better – or are even getting worse? Here are a few reasons why.
- You aren’t following the diet properly. It maybe that you aren’t under a dietitian so do not have access to accurate information, or perhaps haven’t realised that some of your foods contain FODMAP’s – so get in contact with a dietitian and start checking the back of ALL labels.
- Did you remove all fruit and veg? Lots of people will adjust their diet to be suitable, but fail to replace their fruit and vegetables with low FODMAP alternatives. Do this and you will likely end up with constipation. Aim for at least 5 x 80g of fruit/veg each day – you may need more.
- You haven’t changed your bad habits. If a client has bad diet habits like skipping meals, eating lots of fast food or eating unbalanced meals then I generally get them to focus on this first. As bad habits can cause digestive health symptoms, it is important that you tackle this first or you won’t see much improvement. Chances are, you won’t need to do the low FODMAP diet at all.
- You aren’t drinking enough water. Dehydration will cause symptoms of constipation – please make sure you drink enough – typically 2L a day – but this varies with age, weight and exercise.
- Your symptoms are more constipation then diarrhoea. If you have IBS-C (constipation dominant) then the low FODMAP diet is likely to make these symptoms worse. If you consider first how FODMAPs function in your gut – you take these out and going to the toilet becomes more difficult. Instead, first try increasing fibre and fluid intake – remember you may need more than 5 portions of fruit and veg each day.
- There is a psychological factor. It is known that IBS is multi-factoral and psychological issues are one of the factors. If you know that you suffer with stress or anxiety or even notice a pattern in your symptoms with situations where perhaps you are at work compared to at home/on holiday then you should look at addressing this. Both CBT and hypnotherapy have been shown to be affective in this area, but you should discuss this with your GP.
- Something else is going on. It could be that you have another, undiagnosed condition. This is why it is so important that before you try any dietary changes, you first get a diagnosis from a gastroenterologist. It is also important to realise that you should not avoid gluten until you have had a Coeliac screen – as this will give you in inaccurate result.
If you would like further advice and support with this issue – please contact me.
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