The role of diet in the management of irritable bowel syndrome: a focus on FODMAPs

Dolan R1, Chey WD2, Eswaran S2. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 May 18:1-9. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2018.1476138. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

1 a Department of Internal Medicine , University of Michigan , Ann Arbor , Michigan , USA.

2 b Department of Gastroenterology , University of Michigan , Ann Arbor , Michigan , USA.


Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that negatively impacts quality of life and results in significant health care expenditures. The vast majority of IBS patients associate their symptoms with eating. Numerous randomized, controlled trials suggest that restriction of dietary FODMAPs improves overall symptoms, abdominal pain, bloating and quality of life in more than half of IBS sufferers. There is emerging data which suggests that other diets (gluten free, guided elimination diets) might also be of benefit to IBS patients. Areas covered: Comprehensive literature review on dietary therapies available for IBS to date and exploration into individualized dietary therapy development based on diagnostic testing. Expert commentary: FODMAP elimination identifies IBS patients who are sensitive to FODMAPs. Responders should undergo a structured reintroduction of foods containing FODMAPs to determine a patient's sensitivities. This information can then be used to create a personalized, less restrictive low FODMAP diet. Future research should focus on the identification of other effective diet therapies focusing on supplementation of functional foods in addition to elimination and the development of biomarker-based diet treatment plans which identify the right treatment for the right patient.

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