Bloating? IBS? Try the FODMAP Diet

If you’ve experienced bloating, cramping or, if you’re like me, something that feels like one of your internal organs is trying to push its way out of your stomach, then keep reading.

You see, for years I struggled with what I thought were excessive period cramps. I was in so much pain that I would end up in the fetal position, with my husband rubbing my back trying to alleviate the pain. I stopped taking days off work because I didn’t want to be seen as a slacker, and tried every remedy (natural and unnatural) under the sun.

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Then, about four months ago I went to a new doctor because my old one had retired. Rather than the usual prescriptions, this one suggested the FODMAP diet, and the conversation went something like this:

“I’ve tried…possibly literarily, thousands of diets.”

“Well, this one might be the one that will work.”

“No, it won’t.”

“That’s the spirit.”

It worked. Not just a little bit, it completely solved my problem and now I don’t experience any of the horrible cramping feelings that I used to. The good news is that anyone can do it, you don’t need any special products and there is no requirement to avoid all the foods you love.

Here’s how it works. The first thing you need to know is that certain people are prone to bloating due to their response to a specific type of carbohydrate. These foods, rather than being processed through your small intestines, are sent to the large intestine where they sit and ferment. This fermentation process results in excess air, which creates swelling and bloating. Simply put, you rectify it by not eating the foods that contain the specific type of carbohydrate.

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There are loads of recipes, lists and resources on the Internet, and most of them are easy to follow. My favourite is here, but there is no need to limit yourself. The hardest thing I had to do was give up certain types of fruit – you know, the stuff that everyone told me would help my bloating.

So grab a list of recipes and change your life for the better. Of course, there are still period cramps but at least they don’t last for the entire month.

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Jennifer Claybourn

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