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The Low FODMAP Diet – Is It Right For You?

By August 10, 2021No Comments

You’ve probably heard of the low FODMAP diet.

Perhaps you’ve heard it’s beneficial for your “gut health” or maybe it’s been suggested for your digestive issues. But what actually is the low FODMAP diet, and should everyone be doing it?

Lets start with the acronym: F.O.D.M.A.P

F – Fermentable

O – Oligosaccharides

D – Disaccharides

M – Monosaccharide

A – And

P – Polyols

Ok – that didn’t explain much. What are these words and what do they mean?!

FODMAPs are types of short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) naturally found in many foods. FODMAPs can cause negative digestive symptoms in people with IBS. OK, so what exactly is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive syndrome that affects about 1 in 7 adults. Symptoms often include stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation. IBS is often diagnosed when other gut conditions are ruled out by a physician.

FODMAPs attract water to our intestines and are fermented by our gut bacteria. This results in excess water and gas in our intestines, which causes them to expand. For those without IBS, this expansion is often not noticeable. However, those with IBS tend to have more sensitive guts, so this can lead to pain and discomfort.

So… should everyone with negative gut symptoms just simply avoid FODMAP foods?

Not quite. The low FODMAP diet is a temporary diet, only intended for those who have been diagnosed with IBS by a medical doctor. Why is this? Because many gut conditions have similar symptoms to IBS (celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and even bowel cancer) and may not benefit from the diet. This is why getting a diagnosis first is essential.

The low FODMAP diet consists of 3 phases, and takes around 10-18+ weeks to complete. The diet is used to identify trigger foods that are causing IBS symptoms. Once trigger foods are found, other FODMAP groups that don’t cause symptoms can be added back to promote the least restrictive diet possible, while managing gut symptoms.

Wondering if the low FODMAP diet is right for you? Talk to your physician about your digestive symptoms. If you are diagnosed with IBS, contact your local dietitian who can help guide you through the low FODMAP diet in a healthy way!

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What is the difference between Dry Needling or IMS and Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based on the traditional Chinese medicine meridians or energy channels, whereas Dry Needling targets the muscles and the myofascial trigger points. Both utilize the same type of needle, and some physiotherapists are able to provide both styles of needling, though IMS style needling is more common to see in a physio clinic.

Can I still work or play after getting IMS/ Dry Needling?

Definitely! In fact, “life as usual” is often the name of the game. Keeping moving is very helpful for decreasing post-treatment soreness – but maybe don’t do your biggest and heaviest day at the gym that day! Not all movements are made the same, so your physiotherapist will let you know what you can do or what you should avoid that day. It is best however to plan your first time being needled on the same day as a big event, such as a sports competition or big race.

Is there a minimum or maximum age for needling?

The short answer is “no”, but it really depends on the individual. Informed consent is important for any treatment technique, so it’s important that the person receiving the treatment is able to understand the risks, and benefits, and to make an informed decision for themselves on whether it is a technique they wish to try.