Beyond Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Efficacy of the Low Fodmap Diet for Improving Symptoms in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Celiac Disease

Testa A1, Imperatore N1, Rispo A1, Rea M1, Tortora R1, Nardone OM1, Lucci L2, Accarino G2, Caporaso N1, Castiglione F1. Dig Dis. 2018;36(4):271-280. doi: 10.1159/000489487. Epub 2018 May 15.

Author information

1 Gastroenterology, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, School of Medicine "Federico II" University of Naples, Naples, Italy.

2 Nutrition, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, School of Medicine "Federico II" University of Naples, Naples, Italy.


BACKGROUND AND AIM: To evaluate the usefulness of a low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) diet on patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), non-active inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and celiac disease (CD) on a gluten-free diet (GFD).

METHODS: Dietetic interventional prospective study. IBS, IBD, and CD subjects were evaluated to check if they fulfilled the Rome III criteria. Each subject was educated to follow a low FODMAP diet after being evaluated by filling out questionnaires that assessed the quality of life (QoL) and symptoms experienced (IBS-SSS and SF-36), and was reevaluated after 1 and 3 months.

RESULTS: One hundred twenty-seven subjects were enrolled: 56 with IBS, 30 with IBD, and 41 with CD. IBS-SSS showed that abdominal symptoms improved after 1 and 3 months of diet in all subjects, with significant difference among the 3 groups at T0 (average scores IBS: 293 ± 137, IBD: 206 ± 86, CD: 222 ± 65, p < 0.001), but no difference at T3 (IBS: 88 ± 54, IBD: 73 ± 45, CD: 77 ± 49, p = ns). By analyzing the SF-36 questionnaire, we did not observe any difference between the 3 groups, in terms of response to diet (p = ns), we observed a clinical improvement from T0 to T3 for most of the questionnaire's domains.

CONCLUSIONS: A low FODMAP diet could be a valid option to counter -abdominal symptoms in patients with IBS, non-active IBD, or CD on a GFD, and thus, improve their QoL and social -relations.

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