Stomach issues are a daily battle for many people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), an annoying and upsetting condition that affects around 20% of the UK population. From bloating and fatigue, cramps and constipation, the symptoms of IBS can put a strain on its sufferers, making meals into a chore rather than something enjoyable.

However, help is finally at hand, thanks to the fantastic work of medical and nutritional research. The low FODMAP diet has quickly been adopted by many IBS sufferers and is continuing to grow in popularity. So if you’re someone who is still putting up with the aches and pains of irritable bowel syndrome or other stomach issues, read on to find out more about how a low FODMAP diet could help you.

But first, what exactly is FODMAP?

FODMAPs stands for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols; short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in certain foods, which IBS sufferers find difficult to break down and absorb.

It might surprise you just how many foods from the different food groups, actually contain these irritating FODMAPs. Onions, apples, bread, honey and milk are just a few of the many culprits that can contribute to the symptoms of IBS.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, as for each individual IBS sufferer there may only be a particular food that’s high in FODMAP, that could be causing the symptoms.

How can a low FODMAP diet help with stomach issues, such as IBS?

A low FODMAP diet cuts out any foods that are high in FODMAPs, with the intention of gradually reintroducing them back into the diet. With this technique, the symptoms of IBS can be lessened or sometimes even reduced altogether – a great tactic to work out which foods can and can’t be eaten.

Of course, if you choose to try out a low FODMAP diet to help with your own IBS issues, it’s important to know which foods can actually be eaten during the transition. Below is a handy and helpful infographic from instant porridge sachet company, MOMA, explaining the different foods you can begin to enjoy, without the risk of IBS symptoms creeping up. After a couple of months or so, begin to introduce high FODMAP foods and measure the effect they each have on your body. From this, you should be able to work out what you shouldn’t eat, to enjoy a happy, healthy life free from IBS.