In the Netherlands about 8 to 10 percent of the population suffer from the irritable bowel syndrome (Maag, lever, darmstichting, 2009). A very annoying problem, but unfortunately there is not much known about it yet.
What is the irritable bowel syndrome?
The irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder which can cause intestinal staples, bloating, diarrhea, obstipation and abdominal pain. There has been a lot of research done, but there is no unambiguous cause found yet. However, nutrition seems to play an important role, as complaints rise after consuming specific foods.
Quality of life
Even though the problem seems pretty innocent, it has a big effect on the quality of life. The most common problems are avoiding specific foods or activities. But also your mood and sexual experience can reduce. The physical complaints can affect daily activities and social contacts.
Because food is often the cause of the complaints, you would think these complaints can resolve by eliminating those foods. However, it lacks scientific evidence. The most effective diet seems the low-FODMAP diet ( Vanuytsel, 2016).
Fibre supplements are also used, but don’t always work and can even make the symptoms worse.
Complaints can also be a psychological response after watching a diet advertisement, for example. In that case there is no physical reaction on food and it’s unnecessary to eliminate foods.
FODMAPs are small carb molecules that do not or do weakly absorb in the intestines. FODMAP rich products are for example: wheat, some sweeteners, soft cheeses, diary, some fruit and vegetables and some spices. Instead you can take: spelt or oats, rice, lactose free products and hard cheeses.
It’s not recommended to maintain a low-FODMAP diet for a longer time without seeing a doctor or dietitian. Because by eliminating certain foods you can create nutrient deficiencies in the long term. So try it for not longer than a week or seek for professional help.
NiceDay: try the low-FODMAP diet for a week and write down how you feel in the diary.