Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by several different issues. Damage to the intestinal lining can lead to cracks and holes in that area. Once this happens, things that should remain in the gut, like bacteria and toxins, leak out, causing widespread inflammation. This can also trigger a response from the immune system.
The low FODMAP diet can be highly beneficial for gut health issues such as leaky gut syndrome, IBS, and SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The leaky gut diet, as some people call it, can reduce the damage of a leaky gut, as well as calming the immune system and repairing the intestinal tract.
The low FODMAP diet restricts the consumption of certain foods, even some of the healthy ones, that irritate the situation going on. A low FODMAPs diet has also been shown to decrease gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and it may also help ease constipation. All of the above symptoms are related to leaky gut syndrome.
What Is A Low FODMAP Diet?
Some of you may be asking yourself, “what is a low FODMAP diet?” We bring you the answers.
The low FODMAP diet is an elimination diet, and there’s a process to it. Before we move onto the details, let’s look at FODMAPs. FODMAP stands for, Fermentable - Oligosaccharides - Disaccharides - Monosaccharides -Polyols.
To put it simply, FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that aren’t absorbed well in the small intestine. They’re prone to absorbing water which causes fermentation in the colon. This group of carbs is notorious for triggering digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.
FODMAPs are actually found in a wide variety of foods, and it’s not just junk food either. Some foods only contain one type of FODMAPs, while others may have several.
Dietary Sources of The 4 FODMAPs
Oligosaccharides: Rye, wheat, legumes, produce. Various fruits and vegetables, including onions and garlic, are possible trigger foods.
Disaccharides: Yogurt, milk, soft cheese, and other foods containing lactose are on this list.
Monosaccharides: Various fruits and vegetables like mangoes and figs contain carbs that might trigger leaky gut symptoms. Fructose is the issue which means some sweeteners may need to be avoided.
Polyols: Polyols are sugar alcohols, and they’re found in certain fruits, veggies, and artificial sweeteners.
Following A Low FODMAP Diet
A low FODMAP diet is somewhat complex, and it involves three different stages. This leaky gut diet is designed to help find out what the trigger foods are for you. I’ll further explain the process below.
Stage 1 - Restriction
Stage 1 of the low FODMAPs diet requires strict avoidance of all high FODMAP foods. This stage lasts around 3-8 weeks. Some people say they notice improved symptoms within the first week, but for others, it takes the whole 8.
Stage 2 - Reintroduction
During this phase, you will systematically reintroduce high FODMAP foods into your diets. Firstly, this helps you identify the types of FODMAPs you can and cannot tolerate. Secondly, it establishes the number of food types your body can handle. This is called the “threshold level.”
One food is reintroduced for three days while tracking results or symptoms. Then another food for three more days, and this continues until you’ve been through the list of high FODMAPs you eat.
Stage 3 - Personalization
The third stage allows you to create a “modified low FODMAP diet.” This is where you can customize the diet specifically to your body and needs. There will still be some restrictions on certain FODMAP foods, but there is a little more leniency. The amount of the types of food and the types will be tailored to your tolerance. Some people can handle more than others.
It’s a good idea to work closely with a doctor and a dietician or nutritionist. They can help you through the process, providing you with valuable information. A leaky gut can lead to further issues, so the sooner it is handled, the better. It should be done in a safe setting where your levels can be monitored.