IBS symptoms are almost certainly the sexiest of conversation topics. Bloating, diarrhoea, gas… Classic first-date material.
For something we’re too scared to talk about, though, a lot of us sure are suffering in silence. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (try saying that two G&Ts in) reckons that IBS affects a whopping 10 to 15% of us around the world. That means that, even if you yourself aren’t best friends with your toilet, your pal or at least one person you work with probably is.
Over the past few years, people have come up with all number of ways to treat IBS symptoms. The most popular method recently has been to cut down on gluten because as we’ve all been taught, gluten is supposedly Very Bad Indeed.
But hold on just one second there. Did you know there is no conclusive test to find out if someone is intolerant to gluten? Sure, some people are super duper allergic (all you troopers out there suffering from coeliac disease) but as to those blaming their bloating and the rest on intolerance… Maybe? But not for sure.
In fact, when it comes to dietary treatments of IBS, more and more dieticians are recommending the low-FODMAP diet.
The what now?
The low-FODMAP diet. Which stands for ‘Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols’.
If the name alone has you breaking out in the same cold sweat you got during your GCSE Double Science biology exam then don’t worry, we’ve got an easy-peasy explainer for you from Emma Hatcher, a long-time IBS sufferer who treats her symptoms with the low-FODMAP diet. Oh, she also runs a blog that has loads of low-FODMAP recipes. And has written a book. And she doesn’t mind talking about the stuff you’re too squeamish to mention.
So, over to Emma…