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Andrea Graham, RDN, LD, Scotland County Hospital & Clinics, Memphis, MO, recently completed a certification that will tremendously benefit patients with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She completed the Monash University Certification in Low FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that the small intestine absorbs poorly. Some people experience digestive distress after eating them and are often diagnosed with IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects 1 out of 10 people in the United States each year, with symptoms like cramping, diarrhea, gas and bloating. Diet is one way people manage IBS symptoms. A common treatment approach is to avoid the foods that trigger symptoms and that’s where the science behind the FODMAP Diet was developed.
Graham said, “So far, studies have shown that a low FODMAP diet improves IBS symptoms. FODMAPs draw water into your digestive tract, which could make you bloated. If you eat too much of them, they can hang around in your gut and ferment. A low FODMAP diet is designed to help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have better control over their symptoms by limiting certain foods.”
A team of researchers from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, developed the Low FODMAP Diet. The group, led by Peter Gibson, was the first to prove that low FODMAP diets improved IBS symptoms. The diet plan classifies FODMAP foods as high and low. It recommends that people with IBS avoid high FODMAP foods and choose low FODMAP foods as their daily staples.
Graham suggests getting an order from your Primary Care Provider for a consultation with her if you are considering this diet. A dietary consult with her will make sure your eating plan is safe and healthy. She will have you eliminate FODMAPs from your diet. Then gradually add the carbohydrates back in, one at a time, and monitor symptoms through a food diary and symptom chart. She will also help you with grocery shopping lists and help you determine what products your body tolerates and find replacements for old favorites that now trigger the IBS symptoms. If you are living with an IBS diagnosis or have similar symptoms, talk to your Primary Care Provider, and ask about getting a consultation with Andrea Graham, RDN, LD, Scotland County Hospital & Clinics.
The certification course was paid for by the Scotland County Hospital Foundation. The mission of Scotland County Hospital is: To improve the health of our communities, with services close to home. According to the Monash University FODMAP Dietitian Directory, Andrea is the only Registered Dietitian certified in this diet between Des Moines, Kansas City and Macomb.