• Stacey Marino

Managing IBD With a Low FODMAP Diet & Lifestyle Changes

Gut inflammation can be caused by many factors. It could be genetic, your diet, your microbiome, as well as any history with antibiotic usage, infections, or exposure to chemicals.


Gut inflammation is GUT DYSBIOSIS, which is an imbalance in the microbiota in your gut.

Not only is it uncomfortable physically, but these imbalances have been associated with multiple inflammatory diseases.


Autoimmune disease, liver disease, obesity, Alzheimers, metabolic syndrome, aging, atherosclerosis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, allergies, cancer, and hypertension to name a few.


Not to mention, you have a tougher time digesting food properly and losing body fat.



Inflammatory gut diseases include SIBO and IBD/ leaky gut. Today we will be going over IBD.


IBD, inflammatory bowel disease, is a group of diseases involving the small and large intestine. The most common types are Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. Although they are very different diseases, they do share some common symptoms:

  • Pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Bleeding

  • Cramping

  • Anemia

 

IBD CAN BE CAUSED BY A FEW FACTORS


Genetics

  • Strongly associated with IBD, with genes related to the immune system and intestinal barrier function.

Diet

  • Gluten sensitivity is reported in 23.6% of Crohn's patients and 27.3% of UC patients.

  • High protein diets can cause IBD relapses. Protein should be kept at the bare minimum for your body to support muscle.

  • Highly processed diets cause further inflammation

Microbiome

History of antibiotic usage

  • Individuals who have take antibiotics frequently, are more likely to have the onset of IBD 2-5 years later

 

HOW TO MANAGE IBD


Although fiber and veggies are great for a healthy gut, they are often problematic for an inflamed one.

  • Start with a few weeks to a full month of no veggies at all

  • Start adding back veggies that are extremely well cooked, peeled, and seeded while monitoring symptoms

Reducing overall fiber intake will help with digestion and symptoms.


Avoid high fat and fried foods.


Lower protein to the bare minimum requirement to support muscle mass. Have it in smaller portions throughout the day (5-6 meals/ snacks). Try to distribute it as evenly as possible.


Manage nutritional deficiencies due to poor absorption in the gut.

  • Iron rich foods (well cooked baby spinach, blackstrap molasses)

  • B12 supplements (consider B complex injections)

  • Electrolytes (bone broth is very helpful as it has collagen that helps the gut barrier, potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, melons, grapefruit, oranges, coconut water.)


Lifestyle changes

  • Eat a diverse diet mainly from whole foods

  • Eat most of your food within the daylight hours

  • Manage your stress

  • Exercise

  • Sleep 7+ hours a night

 

SUPPLEMENTS THAT MAY HELP WITH HEALING


Gut barrier healing

  • Zinc Carnosine

  • GI Revive

Microbiome restoring

  • VSL#3 probiotics

  • Resistant starch (potatoes)

  • Sodium butyrate

 

IMPLEMENTING A LOW FODMAP DIET


FODMAP stands for "Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides and Polyols." It's just different types of carbohydrates that have been correlated with causing bloating, gas, and general stomach discomfort.


By eliminating these foods for 4+ weeks, you can notice a difference in digestion and improvements to bloating/ gassiness. After the elimination period, you can slowly reintroduce them and note which foods are problematic for you, and which are safe.


So what foods should be limited during a low FODMAP diet?




Instead of focusing on foods that you can't eat (for a period of time), let's focus on what to include in your diet!







STEPS


Step 1: Prepare (1 week)

  • Grocery shop, toss out foods you are eliminating, get a journal where you can record symptoms


Week 2: Execute (4-6 weeks)

  • Adequate time to see if elimination resolves symptoms.

  • If you slip up, and eat a high FODMAP food without symptoms - record that and keep going. If you do have symptoms, then restart Week 2.


Step 3: Reintroduction of foods (4+ weeks)

  • Watch for symptoms related to bowel movements, bloating, skin issues, joint pain, brain fog, low energy, headaches, sleep issues, sinus congestion.

  • Introduce 1 eliminated food at a time and observe for 48 hours. Don't do multiple foods at once. IE - don't do pizza - instead introduce 1 ingredient at a time - cheese.. toppings.. pizza dough, observe, and record in journal.



The whole goal of eliminating foods and then reintroducing them slowly, is to see what actually causes your GI distress and what doesn't.


Once you understand this, you can much better manage your symptoms and be able to eat a wider variety of foods.



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