Irritable bowel syndrome: is diet the key?
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines suggest that sufferers may also benefit from limiting gas-producing food ingredients, such as resistant starch (found in some processed and reheated food) and sorbitol (a sweetener found commonly in sugar-free chewing gums). But as Sasha Watkins, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, explains: Treatment for IBS sufferers is often limited, which is why the emerging success of the low-FODMAP diet an approach that helps patients discover the precise foods that trigger their symptoms is excellent news. TRIAL AND ERROR Developed by a team at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, the low-FODMAP diet has been shown to work in a placebo-controlled trial, and is more effective than all other previous dietary treatments for IBS. It has also been successfully adapted in the UK by researchers at Kings College, London, and implemented at Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust in London. Peter Irving, consultant gastroenterologist at Guys and St Thomas, says: I can now refer IBS patients for dietetic advice with a greater degree of confidence that their quality of life will improve. The precise cause of IBS is unclear, but stress and problems with the immune system or how gut muscles squeeze food through the bowel may play a part HONEY TRAP Patients on the diet go for eight weeks without consuming any FODMAP-rich foods which include honey, wheat, apples, pears and stone fruits (such as plums and peaches), along with the onion family and artichokes. Traditionally windy foods such as cabbage and beans must also be given up, as must polyol sweeteners (such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol), which are often added to sugar-free varieties of mint, chocolate and chewing gum. EASY DOES IT After the eight weeks are up during which time the gut is rested and it is expected that symptoms will subside the period of reintroducing the offending FODMAPs, group by group, begins. The aim is for sufferers to discover which fermentable carbohydrates they are most sensitive to, and to identify their individual tolerance level so that they can plan a diet that suits them. For example, to check tolerance to the m, or monosaccharide in the acronym FODMAP, people would start with a teaspoon of honey, which is very rich in the monosaccharide fructose, and build up gradually, says Sasha Watkins. ASK THE EXPERTS Heidi Staudacher, who delivers FODMAPs training to dieticians, says IBS sufferers should not try the plan without medical supervision. Information on the internet or in books is often conflicting or out of date, she says. Advice from a registered dietician with whom patients are likely to need up to three one-hour sessions is crucial for good results, and should be obtained after appropriate assessment by a GP or gastroenterologist. An increasing number of privately registered dieticians are now offering FODMAPs advice costing 55 to 80 for an hour-long session.
Beat digestive problems with the FODMAP plan
Breakfast can include a protein shake with coconut milk and a non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein or vegan protein such as hemp. One could also do pastured eggs cooked in coconut oil with green veggies, herbs, fresh squeezed lemon and herbs. For lunch these individuals could do a big salad with olive oil and grass-fed cheddar cheese or pastured chicken. For dinner they could do steamed broccoli, a small salad and grass-fed beef or wild-Alaskan salmon or another quality animal protein with olive oil, fresh lemon and herbs. More digestive health strategies It is always a good idea for individuals with digestive issues to use organic bone broth and make soups and stews. The bone broth provides raw materials that help to repair the intestinal lining and does not contain any of the FODMAP sugars. Organ meats are also highly advisable because of their rich nutrient content. Many individuals with digestive disorders find great success using intermittent fasting strategies such as eating one or two meals per day and doing lots of hydration during the non-eating periods. They also remark about the great relief they get from the nagging symptoms when they follow these nutrition principles. Sources for this article include: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to http://www.drjockers.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to http://www.maximizedliving.com Dr.
The DASH diet wins Best Diets Overall, while Weight Watchers continues to hold the No. 1 spot for Best Weight-Loss Diets. The Mediterranean Diet, which received attention in 2013 for boosting heart health, claimed the No. 1 spot among Plant-Based Diets and the No. 3 spot among Best Diets Overall, behind DASH and the TLC Diet. The Vegetarian (No. 11) and Vegan diets (No. 18) both fell in the middle of the pack among all diets, while the Paleo diet the most Google-searched plan of 2013 tied for last place with the Dukan diet. New in 2014, U.S. News ranked three additional diets the Acid-Alkaline Diet, the Spark Solution Diet and the Fast Diet and added extensive profiles of two popular diets for digestive health the Gluten-Free Diet and the Low FODMAP Diet. “Best Diets 2014 is designed to help consumers identify a diet that suits their specific needs, whether they are trying to lose weight, control a chronic disease or achieve a healthier lifestyle overall,” said Angela Haupt, health & wellness editor for U.S. News. “We assembled top experts and developed the tools and rankings to provide a resource for the thousands of Americans struggling to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.” U.S.
DASH diet wins Best Diets Overall, while Weight Watchers continues to hold No. 1 spot for Best Weight-Loss Diets
Because the diet does restrict many foods, the researchers are looking further into it to ensure it is nutritionally adequate. We believe it is because there are so many alternative safe foods which can replace the others,” Gibson adds. Secondly, there is a theory that the low FODMAP diet may result in fewer prebiotics, which are short-chain carbohydrates, being in the gut. These are believed to stimulate the good bacteria in the bowel and suppress the bad. “They are supposed to be good for calcium absorption, and for preventing bowel cancer,” explains Gibson. “We are trying to determine whether we are changing the conditions in the large bowel which might be less favourable for bowel cancer and things like that. So far, we have seen no evidence for this” Grimm says while this is an important point to consider, for those people with serious IBS symptoms they need to weigh up possible risks with the chance that they could improve their quality of life. “If people are severely disabled and are missing a lot of work or whatever … I think that the theoretical risk is outweighed by the inconvenience and suffering and the potential to improve on that,” says Grimm. Meanwhile, it is very important for everyone on the diet to ensure they are seeking replacement foods for those being taken out. Wheat is restricted on the diet, so it is vital you find substitutes because cereals and grains provide fibre, vitamins and are an important source of energy.