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  /  What to consider before going on the FODMAP diet (old SSS post)

If you’ve just read about FODMAP’s for the first time and have IBS or digestive problems you might be really excited and eager to try the low-FODMAP diet to see if it can help you.

So where do you go from here?

The first step could simply be to reduce FODMAPs in your diet.

If you’ve read about FODMAPS and realise that you’re eating large amounts of certain FODMAP types, to start with you could reduce the intake of these. You might for example be eating large amounts of fruit or lots of wheat bread so cutting down on these may help your symptoms. Our recipes can help you get started.

If you’ve decided you want to go full out and try the low-FODMAP diet there are a few things to consider before starting.

Consult your GP
First of all you want to make sure that your symptoms are not caused by any other underlying health problems and your GP can help you establish that.
Secondly, the low-FODMAP is a strict diet cutting out many food types so it is important to make sure you’re healthy enough to go on the low-FODMAP diet. Your GP can look at your medical history, general fitness, weight and age to determine if it’s a good idea for you to begin the diet. The FODMAP diet is still fairly new so not all GP’s will have heard of it. You need to be prepared to explain what it is and what it involves. Your GP may choose to refer you to a dietician for further help and support.

Consult a dietician
Most of us have never spoken to a dietician before and never before going on a diet, so why now?
One reason is that the low-FODMAP diet cuts out certain food groups and you therefore run the risk of making yourself ill and/or nutritionally deficient if you’re not careful. A dietitian can look at your current diet, situation, medical history, weight etc and work out a low-FODMAP diet plan that is nutritious, well balanced and suitable for you.
A dietician can also help you understand and read food labels in order to avoid FODMAPs which is essential to the diet.
This is the best and recommended route to go down before starting the low-FODMAP diet. There are FODMAP trained dieticians working for the NHS and privately. Here is a list of all King’s college London FODMAP trained dieticians in the UK. If there are not any qualified FODMAP dieticians in your area you can find that some are available online and you can contact them via email or by phone.

I’ve decided I want to do the low-FODMAP diet on my own without the help of a dietician.

If you decide you want to do the low-FODMAP diet on you own i.e without consulting a dietician (not our recommendation), there are some great books covering the low-FODMAP diet. We would strongly recommend that you buy at least one or two of these books to use as a guide before and whilst on the low-FODMAP diet. Our favourite is IBS-Free at Last by Patsy Catsos MS RD LD . Patsy explains the diet in simple terms, provides an easy to follow diet plan, information on how to re-introduce FODMAP’s back into your diet and even low-FODMAP recipes. Her diet plan is however general and not specific to your needs so you will probably need to alter/change it to suit you. Your meals need to be nutritious, contain enough vitamins, proteins and fibre for you to stay healthy.

For more help see How to get started