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For My Endo-Sisters with IBS

It’s not uncommon for endometriosis to be misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Both come with abdominal pain, bloating, and a host of other similar symptoms. In some cases, you may have just one, and in others, you may have both.

However, research is discovering is that those women with endometriosis and IBS are finding relief with a modified diet, specifically a low-FODMAP diet.1

What does “FODMAP” mean?

FODMAP refers to a type of carbohydrate and stands for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • And
  • Polyols

Where are FODMAPs found?

These short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) are found in some fruits, vegetables, and grains. They are not as easily digested in the body with someone who has IBS. In fact, because they’re not easily absorbed, the partially digested carbohydrate makes its way to the large intestines and begins to ferment there causing gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other symptoms.

FODMAP foods include:

  • Apples
  • Apricot
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cherry
  • Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Mushroom
  • Onion
  • Watermelon

This is, by no means, a comprehensive list. This is just a small representation of some of the foods containing FODMAPs. However, as you scan over this list, if this seems like a lot of the foods you currently eat as you experience symptoms, it may be valuable to give the diet a try. So, what exactly is entailed in the diet?

Understanding the low-FODMAP diet

Similar to a traditional elimination diet, you’ll eliminate the FODMAP foods for a period of time – typically between 30 to 90 days. Hopefully, the symptoms will have stopped or at least subsided at this point. If that’s the cause, they you can either continue to keep them out of your diet – as long as the rest of your diet includes a good rotation of nutrient-dense foods – or you could reintroduce one food at a time to see your tolerance. You may have a higher tolerance of some FODMAPs than others.

You may easily find that you can have a small portion of some FODMAP foods, such as a quarter of an avocado or a few Brussel sprouts, but in larger quantities, they become symptomatic. This is the value of being extremely intentional and mindful when you’re reintroducing foods; Do so in a way that enables you to make a correlation with symptoms and eating certain foods.

Have you tried eliminating FODMAPs from your diet? Did it make a difference for you? Share below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Moore J, Gibson P, Perry R, Burgell R. Endometriosis in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: Specific symptomatic and demographic profile, and response to the low FODMAP diet. Anzjob. 2017;57(2):201-205. https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ajo.12594. Accessed June 24, 2019.

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