The Best Evidence-Based Diet to Reduce IBS Symptoms

Nov 30, 2022 | Therapeutic Diets

For those struggling with IBS, the diet most likely to reduce symptoms (like gas, bloating, and unpredictable diarrhea) is a low FODMAP diet.

What is a low-FODMAP IBS diet?

A low FODMAP diet is an eating pattern that does not include FODMAPs.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs (which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) are dietary sugars that your (human) body cannot completely digest or break down.

Humans lack the enzymes to digest these small, fermentable carbohydrates. However, these carbohydrates are rapidly fermented by your resident gut bacteria, resulting in gas and bloating.

These small sugars are also osmotic, meaning they pull water into your gut, causing diarrhea.

Do FODMAPs impact everyone the same way?

No, FODMAPS do not impact everyone the same way. 

While FODMAPs cause distention in everyone who eats them, people with IBS feel the gas and bloating more than people without IBS. In other words, people with IBS are more sensitive to FODMAPs than people without IBS.

Why do FODMAPs impact people with IBS more than others?

FODMAPs impact people with IBS more because people with IBS tend to have hypersensitive nerves in their gut (visceral hypersensitivity). These oversensitive gut nerves react quickly to any subtle changes in the gut. Then, these sensitive nerves tell the brain (through the gut-brain axis) to cause IBS symptoms like constipation, pain, diarrhea, and more.

Is stress a significant factor in IBS?

Yes. Stress often triggers people with IBS to fall into (and get stuck in) an unfortunate cycle where stress triggers IBS symptoms, which in turn causes more stress, which then triggers more IBS symptoms. And on. And on.

Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik

Do I have to follow a low-FODMAP IBS diet forever?

No, I would never recommend that anyone follow a low-FODMAP diet forever. 

While a low-FODMAP diet can be helpful to reduce your IBS symptoms in the short term, it’s not health-ful to follow a low-FODMAP diet indefinitely. 

If you remember from above, FODMAPs feed our gut bacteria (especially the “good” bacteria who help keep out the “bad” bacteria). When you starve your “good” bacteria by avoiding their favorite foods, the whole microbiome suffers. 

This is why Monash University in Australia (the leading authority on the low-FODMAP diet), recommends implementing the diet in Three Phases.

  • Phase 1: Low-FODMAP diet
  • Phase 2: Reintroduction
  • Phase 3: Personalization

While it is possible to (find the resources and) try a low-FODMAP diet on your own, it’s much trickier to reintroduce the FODMAPs and personalize the diet. For this reason, Monash University recommends working with a FODMAP Dietitian who knows how to safely and effectively implement a low FODMAP diet in clinical practice.

How to find a FODMAP Dietitian 

You’ve already found one!

Adair is a FODMAP Dietitian (and she’s known about the low FODMAP diet since 2015).

Plus, she does things differently than other FODMAP Dietitians. Clients following Adair’s proprietary Total Gut Health Program usually see a 50% reduction in symptoms in the first two weeks!

Adair has a history of doing things outside the box. She applies all the tools and techniques in her toolkit to fix the one problem she specializes in: IBS.

If you’re interested in working with Adair, click the link below to schedule a free consultation.

What other evidence-based techniques can help? 

As mentioned above, stress is a significant factor in the development and propagation of IBS. Good news! Instead of avoiding FODMAPs forever, it is possible to change how the brain responds to these overactive nerves. 

Dr. Simone Peters from Monash University created a hypnotherapy technique (called Nerva) that helps people with IBS learn automatic skills to help ‘fix’ the miscommunication between their gut and brain.

Learn more at

Nerva uses evidence-based hypnotherapy techniques, delivered via an app, to help you learn skills to improve your gut-brain axis. When Dr Simone Peters ran a clinical trial with Monash University, she found that her approach worked just as well as the Low FODMAP diet in helping people with IBS live better.

P.S. Adair incorporates some of these techniques (like Deep Breathing) into her Total Gut Health Program. It really is a comprehensive program for IBS. Learn more about the Total Gut Health Program by scheduling a free call.

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