As you know, I have mixed feelings about the low fodmap diet, but it has a time and place. However, the low fodmap reintroduction phase was the most nerve-wracking.
With an elimination diet, it is essential to reintroduce those foods. Especially with low fodmap because these foods are critical for gut bacteria diversity. It has been found that being a low fodmap for too long can damage the large intestines.
With SIBO, the bacteria in your small intestines aren’t necessarily harmful. The issue is that bacteria should be somewhere else in your digestive tract. By following strictly low fodmap for too long, it can cause more problems down the road.
Fodmaps are small-chain carbohydrates that are difficult for our digestive system to break down. The acronym stands for:
These fodmap-containing foods are often avoided during phase 1 of the fodmap protocol. This includes:
What is critical about these foods is that they contain fiber and prebiotics. That is why you don’t want to do low fodmap long term.
We want the prebiotics to feed our good bacteria. In our gut alone, we have tens of trillions of microorganisms. Some pertain to all humans, and some are specific to us. Essentially our intestines have their fingerprint.
There are two ways to begin reintroducing fodmap foods. You can reintroduce over a 3-day period or all in 1-day.
You would start on, say, a Monday, and you would start with a small amount and gradually increase the serving sizes over 3-days.
Then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are washout days. These are days you go back to a low fodmap lifestyle to let your body reset.
This is exactly like the 3-day reintroduction period, except all in one day.
Over the day, you ate between 1-1.5 avocado(s). Then the next day, you would relax before reintroducing a different food on the third day.
Between the two, the 1-day is more aggressive of the fodmap reintroduction plans.
I highly recommend this fodmap app by Monash University! It gives loads of foods, how much to eat for it to be low fodmap and more.
*I don’t believe we need gluten at all. However, if you choose to consume it, aim for sourdough, organic, sprouted products.
If you experience symptoms, you immediately stop the reintroduction. This doesn’t mean you need to start the protocol all over. It simply means that that specific food was too much. This is important to write down in your food/symptom diary.
It could have been the food itself or the amount of food. Going back to the avocado example, you may feel great with 1/2 an avocado, but a whole one is too much for you.
Something you can do to ease the symptoms and reset your gut:
You don’t have to do all of these, but these have been my go-to’s for flare-ups. And once you feel better and have no symptoms is when you can try a different fodmap.
Once you have completed the reintroduction phase, you’ll have created a modified fodmap diet. You have found foods that trigger symptoms based on the type to how much of it you can eat.
Thank youu so much for reading, and I’d love it if you’d share this with others in the same situation!