King’s College London researchers have developed an app to enable patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to choose the low FODMAP foods in supermarkets and reduce their symptoms as a result.
FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that are fermented by bacteria in the gut, producing increased water and gas.
They previously conducted two randomised controlled trials that found following a low FODMAP diet reduced symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea, in up to two thirds of patients.
However, patients often find it difficult to understand and follow a low FODMAP diet, because many different foods contain FODMAPS, such as bread, pasta, onion, garlic, certain fruits and vegetables, and milk.
So the researchers at King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust collaborated with FoodMaestro to produce an app to help patients follow the low FODMAP diet.
‘Clinical trials have shown that avoiding foods that contain FODMAPs is one of the best dietary approaches to alleviate IBS symptoms,’ said Professor Kevin Whelan who led the research at King’s College London. ‘Many different foods contain FODMAPs and so the app will help people with IBS to identify suitable foods when in the supermarket.’
A key feature of this new app is the ability to quickly and easily find suitable foods to eat from over 30,000 ingredients and 100,000 products in leading UK supermarkets.
‘Rather than reading the ingredients list of foods in the supermarket, patients with IBS can now scan the barcode of a food and the app will let them know if it is suitable for a low FODMAP diet or not,’ said Dr Miranda Lomer MBE who also developed the app.
It will also allow users to create a personalised dietary profile, record and track symptoms, and share information between the patient and their dietitian.
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