Tina explained that she had been eliminating FODMAPs for about 6 weeks. ‘I tried to re-introduce normal white bread last week, but I had a flare up which I am still experiencing, so I’ve lost even more weight. In the space of about 4 months I’ve lost just under a stone and a half and I was a thin person to begin with. This is worrying me as I am now suffering with fatigue and constant abdominal pain.’
I told her that the low FODMAP diet is not designed for weight reduction, but ‘it does restrict a lot of different foods and if your sensitive gut also cannot tolerate fats, like many people with IBS, then you could lose weight. The other difficulty is that when you eliminate or restrict a certain item from your diet, you can tend to become more sensitive to it, as you may have discovered with bread.’
Tina needs sensible advice from somebody who understands the way the gut works. The low FODMAP diet, as she is taking it, is making her ill. She is losing far too much weight. She should either obtain guidance, dietary adjustment and supervision from a properly qualified and trained dietitian or she should stop the diet and seek advice from your GP or gastroenterologist.
‘Remember’, I added, ‘that diet is not the cause of your IBS, but it can trigger the symptoms in a sensitive gut. The cause s whatever is making the gut sensitive in the first place and that, in my experience, may be the effect or meaning of whatever is happening in your life.