Has the FODMAP diet worked?

Before proceeding we must first state our vested interest.  We have low FODMAP recipe sites, thus it would be fair to question our impartiality on this subject.  With that said,  all our IBS sites are entirely free.   Our mission has always been to provide free help and information to fellow sufferers, the recipe sites are an extension of that aim.

So to the question in hand, has the low FODMAP diet worked?  The diet has started to receive criticism from some quarters and we wondered if it was justified.  The initial tests showed improvements in around seventy percent of sufferers, however it would be difficult nay impossible for anyone to definitively say whether this has played out now that the diet is readily available to the public.  The other factor which will be effecting results, will be the participation of dietitians.  

In the initial trials dietitians were involved and while in principle the low FODMAP diet is simple to follow, we have always, and continue to recommend that anyone serious about the low FODMAP diet, utilizes the skills and training of a registered dietitian if they possibly can.  While you may be successful without one, why take the chance?  You could miss out on a diet which may have profound effects on your quality of life.

FODMAP Diet - A success?


The heavy handed point being made here, is simply that like any diet, it is best when personalized.  If you take all the positive points of the low FODMAP diet and tailor it in a way which works for you.

We can not, nor do we purport to speak for all, however that is where we have found the low FODMAP diet to be highly successful.  By combining what the diet teaches us and what we already know.  

The reduction of pain, bloating and discomfort for those suffering with such symptoms seems to be where the low FODMAP diet is at its best, when followed correctly.  For those with severe symptoms it may not be the panacea you wished, but for many it appears to offer a great deal.


When we first began compiling our IBS resources, much of the writing was very angry.  Anyone who has suffered IBS long term will have suffered the frequent offer of hope being extinguished by treatments which promised much and did not deliver.

The net result was angry articles pertaining to treatments and products which had not worked for us. Peppermint oil was a real bete noire in the IBS Heath offices.  Statistically it performs well, but for us it was useless.  Similarly we wrote an angry piece about the ‘Can’t wait card’ which some may be familiar with, simply as we did not wish to use one.

We were very eloquently corrected by a lovely lady on this subject who pointed out that we should not dismiss something simply because it did not suit us, because it just might help others.

This leads us to our final assessment of the low FODMAP diet:

The low FODMAP diet may or may not work for you.  Do not try it with the belief that it will fix your IBS instantly.  What the low FODMAP diet represents is another tool in the treatment of IBS.  If you try it and it works fantastic, if it does not try the next thing.

Do not make our early mistake of dismissing treatments which do not work for you as invalid for all. IBS is a very broad term and as such requires a number of tools and strategies to treat, there is no one way to treat IBS.  There are also a wide variety of factors, ranging from stress, to sleep and lifestyle which need to be considered.  A change in diet will also not work if you won’t give up or reduce known triggers such as coffee, junk food and alcohol.

We like the low FODMAP diet a lot, it has not fixed our IBS entirely, but it has improved our quality of life. While it may or may not work for you, it is certainly worth a try. We recommend you make your own judgement, as you will know best.

The misses

Like any IBS treatment, recurrent quandaries will occur.  The issue of diagnoses will never disappear. It often seems as though any digestive disorder will be lumped into this one term, resulting with inappropriate treatments being administered.  The low FODMAP diet may simply not be the right path for you.

We often use fibre as the best example of this as it simply highlights the issue.  If you have IBS-C you need lots of fibre, in particular insoluble fibre.  If you have IBS-D, insoluble fibre will have you rushing to facilities at a great rate.  Thus you can not say fibre is good/bad for IBS.  For normal functioning digestion fibre is vital, however for IBS it depends on your symptoms.

It is here we feel many sufferers may have issues with the low FODMAP diet.  To give a personal example,  I have to avoid insoluble fibre, this has been the case since birth.  The low FODMAP diet has quinoa as an acceptable food.   

Quinoa is a wonderful food, high in fibre, protein and tasty too (well we think so).  However, if you suffer with rapid, or frequent motility, quinoa can be the stuff of nightmares.  

‘Diets, like clothes,  should be tailored to you.’ IBS Health IBS Sano IBS Sano+ IBS Curo
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Please note:  All blogs and IBS Health articles have been written by IBS sufferers for fellow IBS sufferers.

We respect and appreciate all other opinions and write with the sole aim of providing empathy, support and ideas for others who live IBS everyday. We do not write cause offence.

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“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it,  unless it agrees with your own reason  and your own common sense.” – Buddha The shoe that fits one person pinches another;  there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Carl Jung