non-bloated tummy freedom could be right around the corner...

Do you have irritable bowel (IBS) symptoms? Bloating, cramping and a delightfully random mix of constipation and diarrhoea after eating? You can never quite isolate everything that triggers you. Gluten-free diets haven't sufficed. Lactose free hasn't completely done the trick. It's a Mystery.

It could be FODMAPS.

FODMAPS are a bunch of carbohydrates, an acronym for:



This graphic I found online spells it out quite nicely:

image by experimentpublishingco.

Foods high in FODMAPS that trigger symptoms include:

  • apples, pears, mangos, plums, apricots
  • onion, garlic, leeks, peas, snowpeas, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms
  • milk, icecream, yoghurt, soft cheeses such as ricotta
  • beans, legumes, chickpeas
  • almonds, hazelnuts, wheat, rye, barley, oats, artificial sweeteners, honey.

Yes, basically most things.

I've had IBS since I was 12 years old. Nothing I did helped. So recently, after over 20 years of living with it, I took myself to a gastroenterologist who promptly diagnosed FODMAP intolerance and put me on a strict low FODMAP diet (total exclusion of the above mentioned foods and more!).

It's been fun.

I say that with sour sarcasm.

But unfortunately or fortunately (however you wish to look at it) the damn diet has worked.


I am completely IBS-symptom free. And I never thought I'd live to say that.

So, moral of the story is that if you've been experiencing IBS symptoms and haven't found a satisfactory treatment, ask your doctor about FODMAPS and try a low FODMAP diet. Monash University have a fantastic smartphone app to guide you.

And since this stuff applies to lots of people and not just those who are intolerant, I'll be sharing FODMAP friendly recipes here on The Society Co. Sign up to stay updated.

Comments? Questions? Fire away below!


  1. I have avoided this terrible truth for several years. But after trying every other alternative (gluten free, dairy free, paleo...) and still suffering, I have to face a life without garlic, soft cheese, and all the other things that make life beautiful. Is it worth it? Where is the joy in it (apart from the obvious of being pain free!).

    1. maria @thesocietycoAugust 4, 2015 at 9:56 PM

      I know the feeling! But for me it is worth it. I had such bad symptoms, I was bloated every day. Brie is allowed! Phew :)

  2. Low FODMAPs, particularly being lactose free, is helping my IBS so much. I've tried various things over the years to help my 'insides', like more probiotics, lacto-fermented vegetables & drinks, following nourishing traditions, then going gluten-free & paleo, and doing Whole30. I just thought I'd be putting up with it forever & I wondered, is this normal? are there people out there who don't have bloated stomachs & diorrhea every second day? I had heard of Low FODMAP a few years but it all seemed too complicated, but the Monash Uni app is amazing and makes it easy. There are various & sometimes confusing low FODMAP sites out there but I chose to just do what Monash says!

    I guess I was 'lucky' in that I had already made strict changes to my diet before I started, so I was well prepared in many ways. To people starting out on this seemingly strict diet, the eliminating and finding suitable alternatives must be overwhelming, but it's worth trying.

    Cheers! Bec at Growing Home

  3. Interestingly, a great number of FODMAP foods are particularly excellent promoters of good gut bacteria. Having IBS and it's related symptoms is not caused by FODMAPS but by poor gut bacteria/bactieral overgrowth in the small intestine. The Good Gut by Sonnenburg is worth a read.
    As is http://rebootedbody.com/fodmaps/



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