Low FODMAPs Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

A recent small study (SR Cox et al. Gastroenterology 2019: doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.09.024. [Epub ahead of print]) examined the use of a low-FODMAP diet to reduce symptoms in inflammatory bowel disease.

A summary of the study in GI & Hepatology News: Low-FODMAP diet eases gut symptoms in IBD

An excerpt:

While previous research has shown that a low-FODMAP diet can relieve gut symptoms such as swelling and flatulence in people with irritable bowel syndrome, the diet has been little studied in IBD patients, for whom gut symptoms often persist even in the absence of gastrointestinal inflammation.

In a study published in Gastroenterology, Selina Cox, MD, of King’s College, London, and colleagues randomized 52 people with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease with persistent gut symptoms but without active inflammation to 4 weeks on a low-FODMAP diet (n = 27) or a control diet comprising sham dietary advice (n = 25).

At 4 weeks, Dr. Cox and her colleagues reported more patients on the low-FODMAP diet reported “adequate” relief of gut symptoms (52% vs. 16%, P = .007), and saw slight improvements in health-related quality of life scores, compared with the control group. Patient-reported flatulence and bloating were significantly lower in the treatment group, while few other symptom-specific differences were seen between groups…

There were no significant between-group differences in bacterial diversity or in biomarkers of inflammation.

My take: A low-FODMAP diet may help reduce symptoms but there is no indication that this diet is an effective treatment to reduce complications or reduce inflammation for patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  In addition, assistance from a dietician is recommended when implementing a low-FODMAP diet.

Related Blog Posts:

AGA website for patient information: Low FODMAPs diet

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