Thursday, 20 July 2017

Research Update: Long-term impact of the low-FODMAP diet on gastrointestinal symptoms, dietary intake, patient acceptability, and health care utilization in irritable bowel syndrome

By Erin Dwyer (Research Dietitian)

Ever wondered what the impact of a low FODMAP diet is long term, in regards to nutritional adequacy and quality of life? This study is the first comprehensive report on the long term implications of a low FODMAP diet - here is a summary.
Participants: 103 patients who had received dietitian led education on the low FODMAP diet, as well as completed the short term restriction followed by FODMAP reintroduction.
Method: This prospective study provided participants with a questionnaire regarding their long term reintroduction of high FODMAP foods, dietary intake, acceptability of the diet and food related quality of life. To analyse the data they separated the participants into those following an adapted* FODMAP diet and those who had reverted back to their ‘habitual’ (pre FODMAP) diet.
The findings:
  • Over half of patients (57%) reported long term symptom relief even when using an ‘adapted’ FODMAP diet.
  • Those following an adapted diet found it did not negatively affect their food related quality of life, health care utilization or work absenteeism any more than those who returned to their regular diet.
  • Dietitian led education helps enable patients to have a nutritionally adequate diet on an ‘adapted’ diet. Participants on an 'adapted' FODMAP diet met their fibre requirements more often than those eating their habitual diet and calcium intake was also adequate across both groups. These two particular nutrients can be areas of concern for those following a low FODMAP diet.
  • The group following an adapted diet ate significantly less onion and garlic than those eating their habitual diet.
  • The adapted diet was broadly accepted by the participants and they felt it had improved their quality of life.
So remember:
  • A strict low FODMAP diet is not to be used long term, and
  • Enlist the assistance of a dietitian to help guide you through the low FODMAP diet restriction and reintroduction.
*In this study ‘adapted diet’ means they no longer follow a strict low FODMAP diet, but they have been able to reintroduce high FODMAP foods according to their individual tolerance

To read the full article

1 comment:

  1. While I believe that you shouldn't be strictly FODMAP all the time, it takes a lot of patience and testing to determine exactly which foods (and in what quantity), you can tolerate. I've tried with several favorites: watermelon - no go; avocado - limited portion. Onions & garlic are definite NO. I'm not giving up; I'm eating healthier and what my body can process.