What to do when your FODMAP diet doesn’t work

So you did not get the results you expected from your FODMAP diet. Now what?

Go back to the pros

The only logical step to take if you feel that your FODMAP diet did not work is to return to your trusted healthcare professional who can help you…

Review your food diary

If you’ve been advised by your doctor or dietitian to follow a low-FODMAP diet, it is very likely that you were also asked to keep a food diary or food journal. The purpose of the food diary is to help you track—and remember—everything you eat while you are on this diet. Ideally, the portion sizes and your meal times should be included as well.

Your doctor or dietitian will go over your food diary with you to check if you were able to stick to your diet. He or she can also help you determine if you’ve accidentally eaten foods that contain any of these short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols, which may have triggered your symptoms and affected the results you got from your diet.

Reassess your response to the FODMAP diet

Your doctor or dietitian may ask you to describe your experience while you were following your diet, particularly any changes you noticed regarding your symptoms. He or she will most likely ask you questions like, did you encounter fewer flare ups? Were your symptoms less severe? Have they gotten worse? Did you experience temporary relief while you were following the diet?

Answering these questions can help you see the improvements that you may have overlooked, either because you were expecting instant or complete recovery. Your doctor or dietitian can help you manage your expectations and set more realistic goals for your diet therapy. 

He or she can also help you understand how each individual responds differently to the FODMAP diet. Moreover, he or she can reassure you that symptoms such as occasional flatulence and bloating are perfectly normal.

Re-examine if you have other conditions or triggers

The effectiveness of a FODMAP diet is also dependent on your current health condition. You need to determine if you suffer from any disorder that may be in conflict with this type of diet and ends up cancelling its benefits.

Your diet may not be the only cause of your symptoms. They may be triggered by other factors such as stress, anxiety, strenuous activities, poor eating habits, gastroenteritis, SIBO and menstruation. Before you conclude that your FODMAP didn’t work, consider these things.

Revise the diet based on your findings

After further evaluation of your condition and how your body responded to the FODMAP diet, your dietitian may recommend modifications to your treatment. For example, he or she may give you specific instructions for food preparation.

Your doctor may also recommend alternative forms of intervention for you to experience better symptom relief. For instance, putting you on medication might help you manage your condition better.

We’ll help your FODMAP diet work for you

If you feel you’re not getting the most out of your FODMAP diet or that it’s not working at all, book an appointment with any of our accredited practising dietitians or highly-qualified nutritionists. They can help you determine why your FODMAP diet has proven ineffective and recommend better ways to manage your gut and bowel health issues.