3 Reasons Why the New Year Is the Perfect Time to Treat Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (2023)
If you have been struggling with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the New Year is the perfect time to make a change. While other New Year's resolutions may come and go, getting a better handle on your IBS is something that can benefit you for the rest of your life! A FODMAP Elimination Diet is one of the best ways to learn more about how you should eat for your IBS. A conversation with a healthcare provider about whether a low FODMAP diet is right for you should be at the top of your list for 2023.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the digestive system. IBS affects both men and women, and it is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the world. IBS affects around 25-45 million people (about twice the population of New York) in the United States.
IBS is considered a disorder of gut-brain interaction. IBS symptoms are affected by a combination of factors including stress, hormones, genetics, and diet. They include abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits that have been going on for at least 3 months. These symptoms are not unique to IBS; they can be caused by other conditions, too. So don’t diagnose yourself with IBS! Have your symptoms evaluated by your healthcare provider.
The Low FODMAP Diet
The Low FODMAP Diet was developed by Monash University. It was designed to ease IBS symptoms and to find out whether FODMAPs are causing your digestive issues. The Low FODMAP Diet is the first part of a three-step process, called a FODMAP Elimination Diet protocol. After 2-6 weeks of low-FODMAP eating, you’ll slowly reintroduce FODMAPs back into your diet one at a time, waiting a few days between them and keeping a log to track your symptoms (i.e. The Reintroduction Phase). Over time, you’ll notice a pattern in your symptoms, and you will learn which FODMAPs you need to limit or avoid.
FODMAPs are a group of certain sugars and fibers that can be difficult to digest and absorb. When large amounts of these carbohydrates are consumed, they can cause symptoms of intolerance, like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Check out ModifyHealth’s guide that explains “What is FODMAP?”
Foods that are significant sources of FODMAPs can cause uncomfortable and even painful gastrointestinal symptoms for people with IBS. People are often surprised to learn that healthy foods like apples, onions, garlic, beans, and regular milk products might cause problems.
It is important to note that very few people have IBS or other symptoms triggered by every single FODMAP. Through the reintroduction process, you might learn that you are able to eat copious quantities of certain FODMAP-rich foods. Others may be tolerated only in smaller servings. The whole point of a FODMAP Elimination Diet protocol is to identify the FODMAP triggers that are unique to you and figure out how to feel better.
3 Reasons the New Year Is the Perfect Time to Treat Your IBS
Are you ready to take action on your IBS instead of continuing to suffer from your symptoms? Here are 3 reasons why the new year is the perfect time to act!
You've Dealt with IBS Long Enough
If you are like most people who suffer from IBS, then you have been dealing with the uncomfortable symptoms for a long time. You’ve had to be careful about what you eat, without ever being sure whether you were avoiding the right foods. You’ve dealt with sometimes embarrassing symptoms. And you may have had to build your life around your IBS, never knowing whether or when your symptoms might strike. You have dealt with IBS long enough. You deserve better. If you have chronic gastrointestinal problems that have not responded to other treatments, you should talk to your healthcare provider now about whether a Low-FODMAP diet might provide the relief you have been looking for!
The New Year Provides a Fresh Start
New year—new you! The new year is the perfect time to make changes in your life, as reflected in the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. The holidays are over, and it’s a time of year when you may have the time and energy to take better care of yourself. There is no better time to see what you can do to get rid of your uncomfortable digestive symptoms and get your life back to normal.
All The Resources You Need Are Available
All the resources you need to combat IBS are at your fingertips. If your healthcare provider is on board with it, all you need to do is complete the FODMAP Elimination Diet protocol. Get started by downloading the Monash University Low FODMAP app. Link to Monash University Low-FODMAP app here.
Doing an elimination diet on your own can be difficult because it requires major changes in your shopping and cooking habits. Get some help from a dietitian, and consider using a low-FODMAP meal delivery service like ModifyHealth. If you don’t have your own dietitian, ModifyHealth can provide that too.
ModifyHealth meals are certified low-FODMAP by Monash University. ModifyHealth meals can help you feel much better in the very first month of 2023. Are you wondering if it is too good to be true? It’s not! A study found that 70% of Modify Health’s patients got significant relief of their IBS after 4 weeks on a low-FODMAP diet.
Ready To Get Started with the Low FODMAP Diet?
Are you ready to try something new this year? Our dietitians and/or fully prepared Low FODMAP meals are ready to help you find the relief you have been looking for. Leave IBS behind in 2022!
Dean G, Chey SW, Chey WD. The Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Abdominal and Overall Symptoms in Patients with All Subtypes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Poster presented at American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting, 2022, Charlotte NC.
Author: Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN
About the Author: Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN is a medical nutrition therapist, FODMAP expert, and author. The focus of her practice is digestive health, including irritable bowel syndrome, gluten-related disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease. Patsy completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University and earned a Master’s degree in Nutrition at Boston University; she interned at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. She is the 2020 recipient of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. Patsy wrote IBS—Free at Last!, her first book, in 2008 and it introduced the FODMAP approach to many thousands of IBS patients, dietitians and physicians. The latest edition of her book is The IBS Elimination Diet and Cookbook (Harmony Books, 2017). Patsy is a professional member of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. She is an Associate Member of the American College of Gastroenterology, where she serves as a nutrition expert in the ACG Functional GI Health and Nutrition Circle.