IBS: low FODMAP diet yields sustained benefit in 1-year study

  • Nawawi KNM & al.
  • Eur J Nutr
  • 13.09.2019

  • von Craig Hicks
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience significant symptom relief with a diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAP), even after reintroducing high FODMAP foods.

Why this matters

  • Growing evidence suggests that the low FODMAP diet is effective in reducing gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with IBS.

Study design

  • Researchers studied the health records of patients with IBS consuming personalized diets developed by a FODMAP-trained dietician (N=127; women, 85%; median age, 45 [range, 16-80] years).
  • They evaluated IBS symptoms with a questionnaire at baseline and 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up appointments.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • The most common baseline symptoms were lethargy (92%), bloating (91%), flatulence (91%), and abdominal pain (89%).
  • All symptoms significantly improved by 3 months and remained so at 6 and 12 months (P<.0001 for all>
  • All the patients who reintroduced high FODMAP foods maintained symptom control at 6 months (n=14) and 12 months (n=7; others lost to follow-up).

Limitations

  • The study was retrospective with a small sample size.
  • Patient symptoms were self-reported.
  • More studies are needed to assess the low-FODMAP diet's long-term safety.