How do you know if you are intolerant to FODMAPs?


One of the new food intolerances, intolerance to FODMAPs may actually play a role in irritable bowel syndrome, or "functional colopathy". Lactolérance helps you to better understand the symptoms linked to the poor absorption of FODMAPs by the body, so that you can detect whether or not you are intolerant to these fermented carbohydrates.


What are FODMAPs? 

FODMAPs or "fermentable foods" are sugars that ferment rapidly in the intestines. There are 4 main categories, comprising foods that should be eaten in moderation or even banned from the diet if you are intolerant to FODMAPs.

  • Oligosaccharides are found in cereals (wheat, barley, rye), vegetables (artichoke, fennel, leek) and pulses (lentils, chickpeas).
  • Examples of monosaccharides include cherries, apples, pears, honey, refined white sugar and glucose-fructose syrup.
  • Disaccharides are particularly present in milk and unripened fromage frais, foods that are more or less rich in lactose.
  • Polyols can be found in apricots, peaches, cauliflower, chewing gums and certain industrial sweets.

Some foods contain several types of FODMAP, such as apples and pears. This sometimes makes it difficult to identify the carbohydrates responsible for the undesirable effects experienced by people with FODMAP intolerance.


FODMAP intolerance: what are the symptoms?

In the same way as with lactose or gluten intolerance, people with FODMAP intolerance experience symptoms of varying severity and discomfort after eating foods containing FODMAPs.

People who are intolerant to FODMAPs experience a certain amount of digestive discomfort as part of their intolerance. Abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea: FODMAP intolerance manifests itself in a number of ways. It is thought that FODMAPs regularly provoke reactions that are wrongly attributed to gluten.

To determine whether or not you are intolerant to FODMAPs, we encourage you to have a glucose or lactulose breath test carried out by a gastroenterologist. If your exhaled hydrogen increases rapidly, the test is positive and you are indeed intolerant of these fermentable sugars.


What should I do if I'm intolerant to FODMAPs?

As a lactose intolerant person, you need to follow a low FODMAP diet if you want to enjoy optimal digestion on a daily basis. It is generally advisable to start by choosing a diet free of fructans, which belong to the oligosaccharides and are carbohydrates closely related to gluten. For a month or so, limit your consumption of gluten-containing cereals, sweet potatoes, beans, garlic, onions, etc. to a minimum.

If your digestive problems disappear, then fructans are probably to blame for your FODMAP intolerance. If they persist, always avoid eating fructans as much as possible and proceed to eliminate another group of FODMAPs to find the triggers of your intolerance symptoms.

Before making any changes to your diet, it is strongly recommended that you consult a health professional so that you can change your eating habits in the best possible way.

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