After creating a highly successful form of fructose malabsorption diet in 1999 in her private dietetic practice, Sue Shepherd went on to become a member of the research team which developed the Low FODMAP Diet. Her PhD research and other studies she was involved in proved that FODMAPs could trigger symptoms of IBS, and in turn, limiting dietary FODMAPs is an effective treatment for people with symptoms of IBS in susceptible people. The low FODMAP diet has been published in international medical journals and is now accepted and recommended as one of the most effective dietary therapies for IBS. Abstracts of these articles are available in the links section of this website.
FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs is an acronym (abbreviation) referring to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are complex names for a collection of molecules found in food, that can be poorly absorbed by some people. When the molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine of the digestive tract, these molecules then continue along their journey along the digestive tract, arriving at the large intestine, where they act as a food source to the bacteria that live there normally. The bacteria then digest/ferment these FODMAPs and can cause symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include abdominal bloating and distension, excess wind (flatulence), abdominal pain, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both), and other gastro-intestinal symptoms.