Thanks to Dr. Michael Ruscio for all his work on gut health and for recently highlighting a particular article on dietary strategies to control irritable bowel syndrome, also pertinent also to those with SIBO.
Dr. Ruscio links to three different studies which describe different ways in which a low FODMAP* diet can be helpful in treating IBS: modulation of serotonin production, gut permeability, histamine production and the composition of the gut’s own bacteria, the microbiome. The best news out of his review, for those who value the dietary fiber associated with many higher FODMAP foods, is that the restriction likely doesn’t have to be permanent. The gut can heal itself and it’s possible that you can broaden your diet after your symptoms are resolved. Either way, IBS can be truly disabling and it’s great to learn more about a dietary fix for a common problem.
*FODMAP refers to the mouthful: fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols, whew! Or simply put, the sugars found in certain carbohydrates. Stanford University has created a great handout on the Low FODMAP diet, navigating a path to reduce the offending fructose (but not all fruit), lactose (but not all dairy), fructans, galactans, and polyols which can ferment in your intestine, causing it to swell, bloat, cramp and empty unpredictably. Check out the list of foods to eat or limit, and consider a trial of low FODMAP if you are affected by such symptoms.