Treat Your Own Symptoms - Food Sensitivities and IBS

Spend a few moments here and you could save yourself a lot of time running to and from the doctor’s office and the bathroom. Dr. Algert gives expert advice on food sensitivities and gives you the knowledge you need to take your health into your own hands!

Four Steps to Learning About Elimination Diets:

Elimination diets, particularly the FODMAP  diet, have become more popular in the last few years as people better understand how food choices impact health.

What is an Elimination Diet?

Elimination diets have you cut out foods that your small intestine cannot absorb such as grains and some fruits and veggies. In other words, you eliminate certain foods for a period of time, usually three or four weeks, then slowly reintroduce specific foods and monitor your symptoms for possible reactions.

Did you know?

Many food based and complementary therapies have gained recognition in the mainstream over the past few years. Currently the FODMAP diet is helping 2/3 of people with IBS find relief from symptoms.

Here are five tips on how to start your own elimination diet to help identify food sensitivities:

1. A FODMAP elimination diet will remove gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, pork, beef, chicken, beans/lentils, coffee, citrus fruits, nuts and nightshade vegetables. Your diet will be comprised mainly of rice, meat (turkey, fish, lamb),  most fruit,  and most types of vegetables.

2.The length of an elimination diet can vary depending on your age and severity of symptoms. Children can usually see benefits in 7-10 days whereas adults need to follow the diet longer, around 3-4 weeks. Keep a food record that includes any symptoms or health issues (both positive and negative) that occur.

3. At the end of the elimination period reintroduce foods one at a time for a single day so you can monitor symptoms for the next two days. Keep a food diary that includes symptoms including mood, digestion, energy level and ability to sleep.  If you have no observable symptoms, you can try reintroducing new  foods on day four of your elimination diet.

4. The whole elimination process will take approximately 5-6 weeks and at the end you will have a much better understanding of your food sensitivities.

 It is also important to make an appointment with a registered dietitian to ensure your elimination diet meet all of your nutritional needs.

An elimination diet followed correctly can produce profound results!

For more information contact Dr. Algert here.

IBS and FODMAP Diets

Evidence for the dietary management of IBS is variable. Dietary restriction of fermentable carbohydrates (the FODMAP diet) is gaining in popularity as a treatment for IBS. Approximately 3⁄4 of IBS patients get some benefit from following a low FODMAP diet. However, the diet is very restrictive and evidence now shows that it can alter gut microbiota and nutrient intake unfavorably. More studies are needed to understand the implications of long term reduction of intake of FODMAPs on the gut. Work with a Registered Dietitian who understands FODMAP dietary restrictions and gut health to determine the best diet to follow to maximize management of your IBS.

References: Halmos EP, Christoperson Ct, Bird AR et al Diets that differ in FODMAP content alter the colonic luminal microenvironment. Gut doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2014-307264.

De Roest RH, Dobbs BR, Chapman BA et al. The low FODMAP diet improves gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective study. Int J Clin Prac, September 2013; 67:895-903.