How Long Does It Take to See Results on a Low FODMAP diet?
Medical disclaimer: The information on this site, and in this specific blog, is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to making dietary changes.
If you are considering a low FODMAP diet or have been on the diet for a short amount of time, you are probably asking: “How long does a low FODMAP diet take to work?” Results vary from person to person, but it really depends on the severity of your conditions and the underlying issues causing them. The truth is, numerous factors come into play, but we will get into that in this article.
The good news is that most people start to feel better within two weeks of starting the elimination phase of their diet. However, it can take up to six weeks for the full effect to be felt due to the distinct phases of the diet. Research has shown that the low FODMAP diet reduces symptoms in up to 86% of people.
In this blog post, we will discuss what you can expect when you start a low FODMAP diet and how long you should plan to stay on it. We will also talk about why a low FODMAP diet can be useful for many people and how to get started on one yourself!
Please note: We always recommend working with a FODMAP trained dietitian and you should consult with them before starting or discontinuing a dietary regimen like the Low FODMAP diet. Here's a list including FODMAP trained dietitians.
Background on a Low FODMAP diet
Doctors and dietitians often recommend low FODMAP diets because they can help to relieve symptoms from digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), SIBO, and Crohn’s disease. For example, a low FODMAP diet can help to relieve symptoms such as bloating, gas, cramps, constipation, and diarrhea.
While a low FODMAP diet is not a cure for these conditions, it can help to manage symptoms and make life more bearable. People with gastrointestinal issues can suffer from both physical and psychological symptoms from the foods they eat. Physical symptoms include pain, bloating, and constipation. Psychological symptoms include anxiety and depression. Many people with gastrointestinal issues find that their symptoms improve when they follow a low FODMAP diet.
Why start a Low FODMAP in the first place?
A low FODMAP diet is usually started because people have physical and mental symptoms caused by gastrointestinal issues. The goal of the diet is to identify and eliminate trigger foods that are high in FODMAPs, which are a type of carbohydrate that can be difficult for some people to digest.
It is important to keep in mind that a low FODMAP diet is not a quick fix. It can take time for the body to adjust and for symptoms to improve. Some people may see results within 2-3 weeks, while others may need to stick with it for several months before feeling better.
While there are many benefits to a low FODMAP diet, it is important to consult with a doctor or dietitian before starting one. Some people may need to be on a low FODMAP diet longer to manage conditions like IBD or IBS, but you should only stay on the diet if it is recommended by a healthcare provider. Staying on a Low FODMAP diet long-term is typically not recommended. The amount of time it takes for someone to see results from a low FODMAP diet depends on many factors, including how strictly they follow the diet and their individual body composition and metabolism. Most people will start to feel better after about two weeks of following a low FODMAP diet.
What is the purpose of a FODMAP diet?
Dieting is one of those things that people can seem to be obsessed with. There are so many diverse types of diets that people can go on, and each one has its own purpose. As mentioned earlier, the low FODMAP diet is a popular dietary protocol, which is designed to help people regain their health from digestive conditions. However, the low FODMAP diet can also be used for other purposes, such as avoiding further complications from diseases.
The low FODMAP diet is a type of diet that is focused on gut health. It helps to promote regularity and avoid any further complications from diseases. However, it is important to note that the low FODMAP diet is not a cure. You should always consult with your doctor before starting this diet.
The low FODMAP diet can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as medications and therapies. It is important to work closely with your doctor to produce the best treatment plan for you.
Reasons to Adopt a Low FODMAP diet
A low FODMAP diet is typically adopted after someone’s doctor or healthcare provider recommends it to them. Typically, people need to go on a low FODMAP diet to deal with conditions like IBS, IBD, SIBO, or Crohn’s disease.
The main goal is to eliminate all FODMAP foods to alleviate uncomfortable digestive symptoms and then reintroduce high FODMAP foods one at a time to determine which FODMAPs trigger your negative symptoms. Finding out this information will allow you to personalize your diet and reintroduce all foods that will not trigger symptoms.
The Ultimate Goal for Most People on a Low FODMAP diet?
The goal of a low FODMAP diet is to improve your overall health, particularly your digestive health, and well-being by alleviating symptoms caused by high FODMAP foods. A low FODMAP diet can help you feel better overall by improving your digestion, which will allow you to live the life that you want to live without the worry of uncontrollable digestive symptoms flaring up.
How Long Does it Take to See Results on a Low FODMAP Diet?
Many people find that they need to follow a low FODMAP diet, specifically the Elimination Phase, for 2-6 weeks (about 1 and a half months) to see an improvement in their symptoms. However, it is important to note that the low FODMAP diet is not a long-term dietary solution for most people.
Mostly, it is two to six weeks to start seeing a difference in your symptoms. If you do not see an improvement during that time, it is important to work with a dietitian to figure out why. There are many reasons why you might not see an improvement and work with a professional can help you to develop a plan to make the diet work for you. Keep in mind that this is a commitment - it is not a quick fix, but it can be highly effective for many people. Stay positive and do not give up! There's light at the end of the tunnel.
The diet begins to get easier as you stick with it because your symptoms should ease after the elimination phase and then you will be able to identify your trigger foods.
Once you are feeling better, most dietitians recommend moving on to the Reintroduction phase to determine which specific high FODMAP foods are triggering your symptoms.
The 3 Phases of a Low FODMAP diet
The Elimination Phase
The Elimination phase, typically 2-4 weeks, is exactly how it sounds - you remove all high-FODMAP foods from your diet. This provides a real test of whether the diet is going to work for you. If your symptoms are improved during this phase, then you can start a systematic reintroduction of some higher-FODMAP foods in lesser amounts to challenge your tolerance of them.
If you improve during the elimination phase, it is a good indication that you are doing the right thing. By removing high-FODMAP foods from your diet, you are giving your body a chance to heal. You may find that you feel better overall and have more energy.
The Reintroduction Phase
Low FODMAP can be restrictive at first. You may feel like you are not able to eat a lot of the same foods that you used to enjoy. However, by reintroducing certain foods in small portions and eating them correctly, you can enjoy your favorite dishes again while still following the low FODMAP diet.
After you feel symptom relief from the Elimination phase, you will be able to properly start testing during the Reintroduction phase, typically 6-8 weeks (about 2 months). It is especially important to work with a dietitian during this phase of the diet but can be done on your own with online resources.
You will slowly test foods containing each type of FODMAP at different amounts to see what reactions your body will have. This will help you identify which FODMAPs are causing your digestion issues.
The Personalization Phase
This is not a long-term diet, yet maintaining a diet that works for you is important, so here are some tips from us:
Congratulations, you have successfully completed the Elimination phase and Reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet! This is a fantastic accomplishment and means that you have identified your triggers and can now work on personalizing your diet based on your findings.
The No-Diet Phase?
This is the phase where you do not follow a strict diet, but just make sure you avoid the FODMAPs that you identified during the elimination phase. Now you will be able to focus on living life and enjoying food like you have not been able to do before.
As you can see, the Low FODMAP diet can be challenging and the time to see results vary, but the process of the diet itself never changes. Following this diet will help you alleviate symptoms and identify your trigger foods so you can have a normal relationship with eating again. If you suffer from IBS, IBD, SIBO, or Crohn’s, then we highly suggest you try a Low FODMAP diet. As we mentioned earlier, people who follow the Low FODMAP diet typically see results within 2-6 weeks, but it honestly can vary from person to person.
How To Make the Low FODMAP diet Easier
The Low FODMAP diet does not have to be difficult. ModifyHealth makes it super easy, by providing fully prepared Low FODMAP meals and optional dietitian support. Their service takes the shopping and cooking aspect out of the diet and lets you focus on the main goals of the diet, finding out your trigger foods.
If you are interested in learning more about ModifyHealth’s Low FODMAP meal plan, then click the link: Low FODMAP meal plan