Wheat, Barley, Rye, Onions and Garlic – Why They Trigger Symptoms of IBS
Instead of resulting to pharma drugs, this elimination diet uses “food as medicine” to help people discover which foods may be triggering symptoms. A group of sugars called FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and research suggests they contribute to IBS and FGID symptoms. Learn more and read on!
Wheat, barley and rye as well as onions and garlic contain fructans which are part of the FODMAPs family. Fructans are malabsorbed in the small intestine which means they aren’t digested properly and then ferment in the small intestine causing bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea. Of all the FODMAPs, fructans are the greatest contributor to IBS as humans were not made to have the enzymes to break down fructans and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides).
“What are FODMAPs?”
The low-FODMAP diet has been instrumental in helping relieve common symptoms of IBS and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. FODMAPs stand for Fermentable, Oligo-saccarides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides, lactose, excess fructose and polyols are found in natural and processed foods.
When FODMAPs are malabsorbed they can cause more water to be delivered through the bowel which can contribute to diarrhea in some people. Sugars from FODMAPs make their way to the large intestine and are then fermented by bacteria, producing gases. Gas can be produced in the small or large intestine, and which we all know so well, then comes symptoms of bloating, distention, abdominal pain and even back pain. For some, this gas production can slow movement through the bowel and mean constipation. Sometimes it can take days or weeks for these symptoms to ease up. It wasn’t until I found the low-FODMAP diet that I began to notice a difference in how my body began to digest the right foods. Keep in mind, everyone’s body chemistry, environment and stress level is different, so following the low-FODMAP diet is very individualized.
Along with wheat, barley, rye, garlic and onions, honey, lactose, sugar alcohols, certain veggies, fruits and certain legumes are avoided. The low-FODMAP diet is not a gluten-free diet, however you will see us mention gluten-free foods as most are wheat-free. Not all gluten-free foods are free of FODMAPs so you’ll need to read all the labels of products (example: Udi’s White Sandwich Bread is low-FODMAP but Rudi’s Original sandwich bread has high FODMAPs like inulin and honey).
Take a look at this page to learn more about the foods to avoid and this page to see our grocery list of all the foods you can safely enjoy on the diet. And finally visit this page to learn How to Start the Low-FODMAP Diet.
If you have already taken hydrogen breath tests and know you can either completely absorb fructose or lactose, you do not have to completely negate either from the diet, but can as an extra precaution during the first and second phase.
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