Baby and You

Selina Cox provides a brief overview of FODMAPs in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

FODMAPs are:

  • carbohydrates that are eaten within a normal diet.
  • found in foods such as bread, dairy products and certain fruit and vegetables.
  • FODMAPs draw water into the small bowel and gut bacteria break them down in the large bowel, producing gas. Water and gas in the bowel can be felt in some people with IBS.

A ‘low FODMAP diet’

  • improves symptoms in 50-80% of patients with IBS.
  • may take 1-4 weeks to reduce gut symptoms.
  • is not needed by people without gut symptoms as some FODMAPs increase good gut bacteria.


  • IBS is a condition where patients suffer abdominal pain with diarrhoea or constipation, or both.
  • Other bothersome gut symptoms include bloating and flatulence.
  • Around 10% of the UK population have IBS.
  • Anyone following the FODMAP diet should do so under the supervision of a qualified FODMAP trained registered dietitian.

References available upon request.