Low-FODMAP Diet Is Associated With Improved Quality of Life in IBS Patients-A Prospective Observational Study

Kortlever TL1,2, Ten Bokkel Huinink S1,2, Offereins M1,2, Hebblethwaite C3, O'Brien L3, Leeper J3, Mulder CJJ2, Barrett JS4, Gearry RB1. Nutr Clin Pract. 2019 Jan 15. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10233. [Epub ahead of print]

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1 Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.

2 Department of Gastroenterology, VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

3 Dietary Specialists Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand.

4 Department of Gastroenterology, Monash University, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.


BACKGROUND: The low fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide, and polyol (FODMAP) diet is effectively manages irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Long-term low-FODMAP studies rarely report quality of life (QoL). We aimed to determine the effect of low-FODMAP diet on long-term QoL, gastrointestinal (GI) and non-GI symptoms in IBS patients.

METHODS: A prospective observational study of IBS patients referred for low-FODMAP dietary advice was performed. The primary outcome of QoL and secondary outcomes of GI symptoms, anxiety/depression, fatigue, sleep quality, and happiness were obtained at baseline, 6 weeks (T6), and 6 months (T26).

RESULTS: 111 patients were recruited. 91.0%, 71.6%, and 50.5% of participants completed baseline, T6, and T26 assessments, respectively. There were significant improvements in QoL from baseline at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.001). Significant reductions were seen in GI symptoms at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.001), fatigue at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.003), and anxiety at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.007), compared with baseline. A significant reduction was seen for depression (P < 0.010) from baseline at T26, and a significant increase was seen for both happiness and vitality (both P < 0.04) from baseline at T26. There was a significant correlation between GI symptom response and change in QoL, anxiety, depression, and fatigue (all P < 0.034).

CONCLUSION: Low-FODMAP diet was associated with improved long-term QoL and GI symptoms, reduced fatigue and anxiety/depression, and increased happiness and vitality. These data support a wider range of benefits for IBS patients consuming a low-FODMAP diet.

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