Experimenting with Reintroducing FODMAPs

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Experimenting with Reintroducing FODMAPs

I keep reading that three years is too long to stay on the low-FODMAP diet, no matter how delightful it has been to feel so good. We’re urged to reintroduce some of the FODMAP sugars at two months.

So tonight my tummy is noisy, uncomfortable, and generally unhappy… but the symptoms aren’t nearly as awful as before I went on the diet. My dietician is encouraged.

On page 46 of Dr. Sue Shepherd & Dr. Peter Gibson’s The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet, they suggest “Reintroducing the FODMAPS one at a time… to determine which contribute to your symptoms and how much of each you can tolerate.”

Well, yes. Limiting my diet too strictly for too long could mean missing some vital nutrients. I didn’t feel brave enough to do this alone, and I wanted an accountability partner, so three weeks ago I contacted a licensed dietitian and started this phase of the journey.

Polyol sugars are least likely to create IBS symptoms, and reintroducing polyols via mushrooms and then dried apricots seems to have been a success. My dietitian suggested a gradual (three-day) reintroduction of each food, maybe because I’ve gone without them for so long. She said to expect some mild symptoms, but not to back off unless they become severe. I’m simply reminding my system that these substances are food.

We’ve moved on, as per the “reintroduction plan” chart on page 47 of the book, to lactose. This week’s introduction was 2% milk. Next week: ice cream (because of its higher fat content). Oh, twist my arm!

It might take months to complete the challenge plan, and we expect setbacks. I suspect I’ll flunk fructose and fructans. But it’s great to know that the strict introductory phase doesn’t have to last for life.

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