Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Attention: Irritable bowel sufferers

As anyone who has what I call "bad guts" knows, your innards can be your enemy. Year in, year out, you can suffer sharp, squeezing belly pains, constipation, diarrhea, leakage, every misery you can think of from that part of the anatomy.

But researchers at Stanford and other places have narrowed down the foods that cause the most trouble in the most people with IBS.

These are called FODMAPS, which is short for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols. Whew. If you google FODMAPS you will get many explanations of what foods these are. You will get exhaustive lists...and exhausting lists.

Here is one that is fairly simple: http://www.giassoc.org/docs/Low%20FODMAP%20diet.pdf

Basically, we are talking about compounds found in wheat (not gluten other ones), certain fruits and veggies (including garlic and onions, sad face), and sugar substitutes such as xylitol and others.

Recently, researchers the Michigan Health Systems did a controlled study on FODMAPs. Over six weeks, dietitians monitored 90 IBS sufferers. Half went on low FODMAPs, the other half went on a regimen of smaller meals and no irritants such as caffeine and alcohol.

More than half on the low FODMAPs had a major improvement in abdominal pain. Only 20% pf the controls did.  Bloating, diarrhea, and urgency also decreased more markedly in the FODMAPs group.

You need to withdraw all FODMAPs for six weeks, then try to see which ones are your triggers--according to experts. I have had relief from the daily pain by eating no dairy (or taking a lactaid pill if I do eat something with milk solids in it), no coffee, and no diet soda, and trying to eat oat bread not wheat.

The diet says there are some cheeses I could eat--but I don't want the pains to start again. (I still get them occasionally if I am stressed or as in the other day, when I eat something weird like hot pepper Chinese noodles).

Mileage may vary--but checking into this could help you.

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