How Figuring Out FODMAPs Is Helping Me Feel Better

Inside: I suffered with abdominal pain and other symptoms for years. Adjusting my diet around FODMAPs finally gave me some relief. Could it help you too?

Apples and pears sit on a countertop.
Apples and pears are both high FODMAP. I love both, so I limit my portion.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a sensitive stomach.

As a kid, I complained about belly pain a lot. But when my mom took me to the pediatrician, he wasn’t sure how to explain it.

In my early 20s, stress around jobs and relationships made things worse. I was eventually diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a cluster of symptoms that includes abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, or alternating bouts of both. (Fun times, right?).

It’s not clear what causes IBS. Genetics are likely involved. Stress can aggravate it. So can certain foods.

But I couldn’t figure out which foods were upsetting my system: Was it gluten? Dairy? High-fat restaurant food?

Sometimes those foods seemed to bother me. Sometimes they didn’t. As a registered dietitian, I was frustrated because it felt like a total mystery–but I was determined to solve it.

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