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FODMAPs

FAQ

Frequently asked questions on the low FODMAP diet

What is a low FODMAP diet?

How successful is the low FODMAP diet?

There is a lot of information on the internet about the low FODMAP diet. Can I try the diet myself?

I have spoken to my GP or gastroenterologist and he/she as never heard of the low FODMAP diet

Do I have to see an NHS dietitian?

Frequently asked questions about the low FODMAP diet booklets

I have heard there are booklets available to follow the diet. Can I buy them?

I work for a nutrition and dietetics department and need to purchase low FODMAP diet booklets, can I send my order by post or email instead of using the online form

What is a low FODMAP diet? 

A low FODMAP diet is a diet low in Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. These are types of carbohydrates that are rapidly fermented in the gut. It is a relatively new dietary approach for the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and was pioneered in Melbourne, Australia. It has been researched for a number of years and been shown to be effective in treating gut symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain and an altered bowel habit. The diet involves restricting various foods including those grains, fruits and vegetables that are high in FODMAPs.

How successful is the low FODMAP diet? 

The low FODMAP diet is effective for about 70% of people with IBS who try it. It works by improving the gut symptoms associated with IBS. There is no evidence that it works for non-gut symptoms that are sometimes associated with IBS, such as headaches and skin or joint problems.

I want to try the low FODMAP diet. What should I do? 

The diet is quite a complex approach and so it is important that you receive good quality advice about how to follow the diet. A registered dietitian, preferably one with experience of educating people on the low FODMAP diet, will help you to follow it carefully. He/she will ensure you follow a healthy balanced diet by providing you with ideas for suitable low FODMAP alternatives. Ask your GP or gastroenterologist (gut specialist) to refer you to a registered dietitian who is trained in the low FODMAP approach.   

There is a lot of information on the internet about the low FODMAP diet. Can I try the diet myself? 

The diet is not recommended to be used without specialist dietary advice from a registered dietitian. This is for a number of reasons:

Firstly, it is not as simple as following a list of ‘foods to eat’ and ‘foods not to eat’. High FODMAP ingredients are often hidden in packaged foods. You will need to learn about how to read food labels and how to make sensible decisions when eating out.

Secondly, as the low FODMAP diet is relatively new, much of the information available on the internet, and from other sources, may be out of date and create confusion regarding which foods to include and which foods not to include. This makes it difficult to work out how to follow the diet.

Thirdly, if you follow a low FODMAP diet without professional support from a registered dietitian, you may miss out certain foods from your diet that are essential to good health.  

Finally, if you do not follow the low FODMAP diet properly, it is unlikely to be effective. Therefore, it is best to get advice from a registered dietitian in the first instance.  

I have spoken to my GP or gastroenterologist and he/she as never heard of the low FODMAP diet

The low FODMAP diet is still a relatively new concept in the UK. It is slowly becoming recognised as an effective diet for managing IBS symptoms and gradually more GPs and gastroenterologists in the UK are referring patients for advice from a registered dietitian who has experience in advising on a low FODMAP diet.

Do I have to see an NHS dietitian? 

There are FODMAP trained dietitians working in the NHS and privately. If you want to see an NHS dietitian ask your GP or consultant to refer you. Some private dietitians may also require a referral.  Click here for a list of King's College London (KCL) FODMAP trained dietitians.  Please note there are an increasing number of registered dietitians who are skilled in the delivery of the low FODMAP diet without having had formal training at KCL.   

Frequently asked questions about the low FODMAP diet booklets

I have heard there are booklets available to follow the diet. Can I buy them? 

We only sell the low FODMAP booklets to registered dietitians. The reason for this is that the low FODMAP diet is complicated and for successful implementation the diet needs to be provided by a registered dietitian, and preferably one who has been trained in the low FODMAP dietary approach.

When you are referred to the dietitian, he/she will provide you with the relevant information you will need to follow the diet, including a low FODMAP booklet.  

I work for a nutrition and dietetics department and need to purchase low FODMAP diet booklets, can I send my order by post or email instead of using the online form?

We only accept FODMAP orders from dietitians. The order must provide a dietitian’s name and HPC number. If you are a purchasing department please set up the order and request that a dietitian completes the online form (including his/her HPC number) and your order reference number. There is space for an invoice address on the online form.

Once the order has been processed and despatched, the invoice will be sent to the named person for invoicing for payment within 30 days

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