Introduction The low FODMAP diet is a diet used in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The diet is based on evidence that fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) contribute to symptoms many people experience in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), including: bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea.1 This may be due to their fermentation by bacteria and osmotic effects on the bowel.2 The low FODMAP diet aims to reduce these carbohydrates and so reduce symptoms.
Methods The study included all patients treated with the low FODMAP diet at St Marys Hospital between November 2009 and February 2013. Patients treated with the low FODMAP diet were identified using dietetic records and correspondence. Of the whole study population (n = 80), 27 did not attend a follow up appointment and 7 were waiting for follow up at the time of the study. This left 46 patients with follow up appointment data. Their records were analysed and symptom data recorded. A comparison between before and after the diet was then made for symptom changes.
Results Following treatment with the low FODMAP diet patients reported a lower incidence of each IBS symptom. When the group was assessed for improvement, the results showed that for each symptom, at least 70% of patients improved. The biggest improvements were for bloating (93% improved) and flatulence (92% improved). Average stool consistency reduced from 5.21 to 4.16 on the Bristol Stool Chart. Average stool frequency per day reduced from 3.87 to 1.56. The diet has been used increasingly each year since 2009.
Conclusion The majority of patients treated with the low FODMAP diet at St Marys Hospital had symptomatic improvements. In this population it has been effective in treating symptoms that are difficult to treat medically such as; bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence.
References 1 Gibson PR,. et al, Food choice as a key management strategy for functional gastrointestinal symptoms. Am J Gastroenterol 2012 May;107(5):657–66
2 Barrett JS, et al, Dietary poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates increase delivery of water and fermentable substrates to the proximal colon, Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2010 Apr;31(8):874–882
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.
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