WHAT IS THE LOW FODMAP DIET Part 2?
Updated: Dec 11, 2022
WHAT IS THE LOW FODMAP DIET
In part one of this article we learn how the low FODMAP diet has shown potential in helping people with IBS. Some health professionals believe it's too restrictive. Proponents of the diet report that people stick with it because of how it improves their quality of life. In part two of the low FODMAP Diet we will discuss three common digetsive ailments.
THREE COMMON DIGESTIVE ALIMENTS
ACID INDIGESTION, BLOATING, AND CONSTIPATION
If you have GI tract problems, you need to correct the underlying imbalance. Not mask them with drugs.
Here are some suggestions for addressing the issues without upsetting the natural balance.
How often do you poop?
The healthy range is typically 1-3 times per day. It makes sense that moving your bowels frequently is healthy because what you are doing is removing waste and toxins. Some people even have bowel movements every time they eat! If you find yourself pooping only a couple times per week you are most likely constipated. Likewise, if you are going 5 times per day, you have diarrhea.
How easy is it to poop?
Healthy bowel movements should only take a few minutes. You should not need to push hard. This could lead to hemorrhoids, which are all too common today. You should also not feel a sudden urgency like you have to run to the toilet.
Is Your Poop Normal?
Color: If your stool is light to medium brown you are healthy. If it’s black, tarry, or pale you may have a serious health issue such as bleeding, hepatitis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis. If you see your stool is one of these colors consistently, or you see blood in your stool, it’s time to call a doctor.
Sink or float: Stools may float or sink, but stools that make a slow gentle dive tend to be indicative of healthy bowels. A high-fiber diet can make your poop float, which is fine. But floating stool can also be a sign of malabsorption.
Smell: Finally, be sure to take notice of how your poop smells. It should smell natural and not have an extraordinarily bad odor. Really smelly bowel movements may indicate malabsorption, Celiac or Crohn’s disease, or even pancreatitis.
After checking all of the above and you found you are constipated you can take magnesium to solve the problem. Magnesium is a miracle mineral. It’s used by virtually every cell in the body and can be particularly beneficial for muscle spasms, migraines, and anxiety. It’s also great for constipation. Instead of reaching for a stool softener or laxative, try 500 mg to 1500 mg of magnesium aspartate (or a blend of different forms of magnesium).
When counseling clients who are struggling with constipation I always recommend a diet of whole foods that is low in sugarand includes lots of fresh vegetables and greens, lean protein, and healthy fats as well as plenty of water. Processed foods wreak havoc with the digestive system, and can cause acid indigestion, bloating and gas, and constipation. Plus they can rob the body of magnesium.
Decrease your consumption of high glycemic index carbohydrates. Eat foods that support optimal bowel function. Too many refined carbohydrates and saturated fats cause insulin levels to soar, which can lead to stomach damage.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Consuming large quantities of food at mealtime also increases insulin. Try five small meals per day.
Try one or several of the following supplements: Aloe vera, antioxidant vitamins C, E, and B, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), Swedish bitters, licorice root (DGL), ginger, peppermint, and chamomile tea. Some people find these to be soothing to the GI tract. Probiotics, which contain a range of friendly bacteria, such as Acidophilus and bifido species, can be helpful in restoring normal bowel flora. Also make sure you take a calcium supplement that contains magnesium and vitamin D.
Drink plenty of water. It helps rid the body of toxins.
Increase Fiber In Your Diet. Fiber adds bulk to your stool and increases transit time so it can help you stay regular. The minimum daily recommended amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men under age 50, and 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men over age 50. I suggest getting your fiber from a plant-based source, such as psyllium.
Reduce Stress. Stress can create problems in your digestive tract by interfering with the neurotransmitters found in your intestines. Practice stress reducing techniques like such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. You will help your mind and your gut.
Get Enough Exercise. Exercise stimulates the muscles in your digestive tract so food keeps moving through your intestines at a healthy pace. It also is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight, which may reduce your risk of colon cancer. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise every day and try doing it at the same time. This will also help your body stay regular.
Eat Fermented Foods. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, real pickles, and kefir contain probiotics and prebiotics, which help to restore the bacteria in your intestines. You may also want to try taking pro- and prebiotics in supplement form, especially if you suffer from diarrhea, IBS or other digestive issues or if you take medications, such as antibiotics that can destroy your gut flora.
Go When You Need To. Always respond in a timely matter to your bathroom urges. Putting off a bowel movement can cause constipation, abdominal pain, gas and more. Try to stick to a schedule, but don’t force it. For many people, the ideal time to go is 30 to 60 minutes after a meal, when your intestines are in motion.
Avoid OTC Medicines. Laxatives, stool softeners, anti-diarrhea medicines, and over-the-counter-products may help your symptoms in the short term, but overuse can actually make things worse or cover up an underlying health problem. For occasional constipation try bulk-forming fiber supplements, such as psyllium. As I mention before magnesium is very important for healthy bowel function.
Change Your Position. Many people strain to move their bowels. That’s because the way we sit on a standard toilet seat does not make elimination easy or natural. Straining can lead to hemorrhoids and over time can even damage pelvic floor muscles! Instead, try breathing deeply and putting your feet up on a stool.
Stop drinking or cut way back on alcohol. Alcohol is an irritant.
Try eliminating bread for one week. Many women are sensitive to gluten, and many to grain products overall. Notice whether your digestion works better with this change.
Take preparing your meals a ritual. Every culture has rituals around food, but with our busy lifestyles, we have all but forgotten them. Turning your meal prep into a ritual – and it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming – helps to bring awareness and intention to our meal and meal time. This relaxes you and sets you up for better digestion.
Resources you may find helpful in this regard is
Going Against the Grain by Melissa Diane Smith.
Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski, PhD.
The Bloated belly Whisperer by Tamara Duker Freuman
Perfect Weight by Deepak Chopra
Deadly Emotions by Dr. Don Colbert, M.D.
Heal Your Body by Lousie Hay
As mention above following a diet that eliminates FODMAPs has been shown to dramatically improve symptoms for Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers.
This means cutting out eleven fruits, including apples, pears, and peaches; twenty vegetables, including asparagus, cauliflower, and peas; six lactose-containing foods, including milk and ice cream; four legumes, including lentils and kidney beans; two whole grains, including wheat and rye; and seven sweeteners, including fructose and high-fructose corn syrup.
BLOATING AND GAS
is cause by foods that ferments during the digestive process causing gas, bloating, and bacterial overgrowth.
Acid indigestion, also known as reflux or heartburn, occurs when your stomach acids back up into the esophagus. The standard treatment is prescribing a proton pump inhibitor to keep the stomach from producing any acid or popping an antacid to reduce symptoms.
Proton pump inhibitors are used to treat ulcers, too. The problem is that your stomach acids help balance the bacterial growth in the gut. Too little acid can result in too much bacteria, which can lead to yeast overgrowth (infection) throughout the body, as well as gas and bloating.