The low FODMAP diet, which restricts fermentable short-chain carbohydrates, is recommended for the first-line dietary management of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is very common, affecting about 15% of the population.
- IBS is characterised by altered bowel habits and abdominal pain in the absence of an identifiable disease; other symptoms include abdominal bloating, distension and excessive wind.
- The perception of food intolerances is twice as common in patients with IBS than in the general population. Food and food components are commonly blamed as triggers for IBS symptoms, including gluten, wheat, dairy, caffeine, fat and alcohol.