My first step (as I tell my clients) was to discuss my issues with my GP and have a coeliac disease test before I stopped eating wheat. He approved my trial of the low fodmap diet since I didn't have coeliac disease. If you are not eating wheat you can't be tested for coeliac disease.
A diagnosis of coeliac disease means a strict gluten free diet for life. A wheat intolerance like the low fodmap diet means eating some wheat here and there should be OK- these diets are very different and should be sorted out before starting the low fodmap diet.
Fodmaps are sugars in natural foods which cause bowel problems in sensitive people. Fodmaps include lactose (milk, yoghurt), wheat (bread, wraps, rolls, pasta), onion, garlic, stone fruits, pears and apples. Eating less of these foods reduces IBS symptoms (diarrhoea, bloating, constipation) in 75% of people with IBS. The next phase is to challenge what people can eat and what fodmaps they are intolerant to and everyone is different.
It is important to record everything you eat and drink and your bowel symptoms each day. I have been using the Monash low fodmap app to do this.
It has been a good experience. I was hungry in the first week due to excluding some of my regular snacks. My tip would be to have snacks handy. It has been interesting to not eat so many snacks and think before I eat, does this have fodmaps in them?
Even I made mistakes. But remember that mistakes and eating out are not failures- just write down the consequences.
For example, one doctor I work with bought all staff a cappacino one day and I drank it despite it not being on lactose free milk. I had wind that night and knew the cause! So I treated it like a lactose challenge. The beauty of this diet is that if you exclude all other fodmaps you know what is causing the reaction.
It is overwhelming when first starting the diet, even for me. At first I saw all the foods I couldn't eat but after a few weeks I adapted and made use of the foods I could eat. I thought I was on winner finding gluten free gravy but then realised it was full of onion. I also bought lactose and gluten free sorbet but it had cherry juice (with fodmaps) as a sweetener. So you can get gluten free, lactose free foods which still have fodmaps.
I decided small amounts of wheat are OK eg. Crumbed chicken, regular milk in tea/coffee at work, regular gravy only once, stock with onion in risotto, quiche pastry
Gluten is not a fodmap but gluten free bread is low fodmap. You don;t have to be strict gluten free as long as you don;t have coeliac disease.
There is a low fodmap labelling program but it is not on many foods. Coles seems to have more of these foods than IGA or Woolworths. They are very handy when the rest of the family are eating foods with fodmaps and you can't be bothered making yourself something different, although I did do this one night when I made myself an omelette.
Below are some meals and snacks that I was eating on the low fodmap diet with more to come! In my next blog I will detail the challenge I went through and the results.