Diet Alone Cannot Heal Your Digestion Issues: Part 1
Learn why diet alone cannot be used to treat and heal your digestive issues in this two part series. In my last two posts on digestion, we talked about why probiotics are not always a good choice and why I stopped consuming smoothies on a daily basis.
Today, I want to talk about another common mistake I see MANY make when treating digestion issues. And that's using diet alone to treat digestive issues.
If you have been diagnosed with IBS, you have likely heard about the low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols...a mouth full for sure!
These 'FODMAPs' are foods that are osmotically active, fermentable and water soluble. For those with IBS, a low FODMAP diet is recommended as these are the foods that bother you the most. Foods such as apples, onions, garlic, mushrooms, wheat and legumes are examples of FODMAPs.
Being FODMAP intolerant means that your something is off with your bacteria in your GI tract...not your GI tract itself (as long as your diagnosis is just IBS and no other conditions are present). FODMAPs are all sources of prebiotics, food for bacteria. If you are FODMAP intolerant, and that's almost everyone with IBS, then that tells me you have something off with your bacteria. And that my friends, needs to be treated- not just managed by avoiding FODMAPs.
Many (myself included for a long, long time) use diet to manage their symptoms. I used a low FODMAP diet for a long time, even though I knew it should only be used for 2-6 weeks maximum. I suspect there are many of us out there that are doing the same, which was what inspired me to write this post!
When I first learned about a low FODMAP diet, maybe 3 or so years ago- I immediately implemented it as I have suffered with IBS for years. And guess what? Of course I felt better! But I never got rid of my symptoms completely, the moment I ate something like garlic, onions or cauliflower I would have immediate and long lasting, painful symptoms.
Last year, when I finally found the research about SIBO and realized that this was (part) of what was causing my personal digestive issues (I had multiple infections going on), I went on a specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) combined with a low FODMAP diet (the diet some recommend for SIBO). Again, I of course began to feel better (you can read about that here), but anytime I would eat anything that could possibly feed bacteria- and at this point it got so bad that all carbohydrates became painful to eat- I would be back to square one. I was just managing the symptoms instead of getting to the root cause of my issues.
So while limiting carbohydrate intake, limiting FODMAPs and/or limiting like gluten or dairy might help manage symptoms- it's not going to treat and heal your IBS, SIBO or gut infection. Diet alone will not treat the overgrowth of bacteria or dysbiosis of gut flora...which will we discuss in part 2 on Friday!
See ya on Wednesday for a daily eats post ;)