On a previous episode about alopecia, me and Charlotte from Cupcake Corner were left shouting at the screen (shared frustration through the power of Twitter!) when the patient told the doctor that she has bowel problems as well as hair loss. The patient wasn't tested for Coeliac disease even though her symptoms were pretty extreme.
On the episode featuring IBS, I was simply left stunned when the doctors came up with a solution for a patient that was a) brand new to my ears and b) seemed to make a huge amount of sense.
Yes, they made the patient lay down and they felt her stomach (oh, what a familiar scenario) but then they put her on a diet that was developed in Australia called a Low-FODMAP diet.
2. Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galactans)
3. Disaccharides (eg. Lactose), Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose) and
4. Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)
The main foods she was told to cut out were certain cereals and dairy (specifically milk and soft cheeses). Makes sense when you consider that the vast majority of IBS sufferers like Sophie Lee from IBS Tales, notice a dramatic reductions of symptoms when they cut out these two food groups .
The other foods to avoid are gassy vegetables like broccoli, beans and pulses, and onions and garlic.
The patient was told to cut out all FODMAP foods initially and then slowly re-introduce foods to test which ones can perhaps be tolerated. Again, makes so much sense. My mum, an IBS sufferer, can't tolerate garlic. I'm OK with beans and cheese but not milk and lentils.
After questioning for so long whether I have IBS or just food intolerances, this is a pretty massive breakthrough.
Please take a look at the video of the IBS patient on Food Hospital here, read about FODMAP foods here and maybe get a copy of FODMAP specialist Patsy Catsos' book IBS - Free At Last.