By now we’re all well aware of gluten and the myriad problems it causes.
This pesky protein found in grain products such as rye, wheat, and barley is becoming a household name for stomach trouble.
Gluten has even been linked to causing issues with the thyroid, skin, brain, and autoimmune diseases.
Millions of Americans suffer each year with undiagnosed bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
One of the first suggestions to relieving these digestive disorders to is to remove all gluten from your diet.
However, what should you do if gluten isn’t the culprit?
We like to blame gluten (rightfully so) but a little-known food intolerance may be the big issue.
A class of food known as FODMAPs is the next offender.
An estimated 75% of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may see relief from their symptoms by following a low-FODMAP diet.
What Is A FODMAP Anyway?
Ready for this mouthful?
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols.
See, that’s why we like to stick with FODMAP.
In simpler terms, that long list of confusing words basically means fermentable sugars.
These foods are short-chain sugars that can’t be completely digested and can be overly fermented by the bacteria in your gut.
Fermentation in the gut isn’t a good thing and results in hydrogen gas build up.
This gas creates the intestines to distend and leads to painful problems like bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
What Are The Most Problematic High-FODMAP Foods?
Ironically and very unfortunately, a lot of the high-FODMAP foods are healthy, natural foods.
As with many areas of life, what works for someone else may not work for you.
This goes for diets and even real, natural foods.
Here are the high-FODMAP foods that should be avoided or extremely limited while on the low-FODMAP diet.
- Leek bulb
- Sugar snap peas
- Sweet corn
- Savoy cabbage
- Processed meats
- Ice cream
- Soft cheeses
- Wheat products:
- Almond meal
What Should You Do Now?
If you’re suffering from digestive disorders, it’s time to start looking for some relief.
Here are some easy ways to get started.
1. Try a low-FODMAP diet
Eliminate all high-FODMAP foods listed above from your diet.
Eat clean meats, vegetables, and fruits that aren’t on the list and see if your digestive symptoms get better.
Luckily, these high-FODMAP foods are not off limits forever.
You can slowly start to add them back in your diet as your gut heals and you become less intolerant to FODMAPs.
2. Comprehensive GI Tests
Microbiome stool test: A common finding with IBS sufferers is a higher amount of bad bacteria. This stool test is able to measure the amount of bad and good bacteria in your body and begins the process of understanding your individual microbiome problems.
Lactulose breath test: Bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine is connected to FODMAP intolerance. This breath test gauges the amount of hydrogen and methane released by that particular abundance of bacteria.
3. Manage Stress
Being told to manage stress may be as bad as the dentist nagging you to floss your teeth.
However, increased stress levels and rising cortisol levels wreck havoc on your body and can do damage, especially over long periods of time.
Do your body a favor and de-stress.
Sometimes de-stressing can be as easy as going for a quick walk outside.
Other ways are yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
Find what relaxes you and do it on a regular basis.
4. Try A Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are the go-to good guys that help level out the bacteria levels within the body.
They keep the bad bacteria in check and as a result the painful digestive symptoms may subside.
To find the right probiotic for you, check out our 10 best probiotic supplements.
If you’re having belly troubles, don’t give up hope.
If gluten isn’t the problem, try a low-FODMAP diet and see if that helps your symptoms.
Be sure to check with your doctor and rule out any serious health problems and ask for one of the GI tests.
Finally, don’t forget to de-stress and supplement with a quality probiotic.