Does a low FODMAP diet really work?

Choice article

Dr Jane Varney - Research Dietitian, 14 May 2019

Wanting a balanced perspective whether a FODMAP diet lives up to its claim of relieving IBS symptoms in the majority?  Consumer group, Choice recently spoke to our team to uncover some home-truths about this novel diet therapy, and made a few important points: 

1) A FODMAP diet wont ‘cure’ IBS. Instead, the diet simply alleviates symptoms associated with this debilitating condition.

2) It starts with a diagnosis. Symptoms of IBS mimic those of many other serious gastrointestinal disorders, such as coeliac disease, bowel cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. These conditions must be ruled out by a medical professional before a diagnosis of IBS is made. Once a diagnosis is reached, suitable therapies (including, but not limited to a FODMAP diet) can be trialled. 

3) It’s not a fad diet or a ‘quick fix’. Unlike claims surrounding many fad diets out there (think paleo, keto, 5:2, vegan, gluten free, sugar free), a FODMAP diet won’t help you to lose weight, gain muscle, cure cancer, feel energised or look younger. So what will it do? The 3 step FODMAP diet is intended to help people with IBS to understand the factors in food that trigger their IBS symptoms, and ultimately, follow a personalised, less restrictive version of the diet that provides adequate relief from IBS symptoms. 

4) Don’t DIY. A FODMAP diet is best delivered under the guidance of a Monash FODMAP trained dietitian. While there are also lots of useful resources out there, including the Monash University FODMAP diet App, these should not replace the professional, personalised advice of a Monash FODMAP trained dietitian

5) Food industry is coming on board. As more and more consumers find relief from this diet, food companies are creating specialty products to suit this niche market, many of which are certified as low FODMAP via the Monash University low FODMAP Certification Program. This is great for consumers with IBS seeking the convenience of packaged, low FODMAP foods. 

To learn more about IBS and the FODMAP diet, visit our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Back to all articles
Back to all articles