It now seems impossible to imagine that a mere 20 years ago you had to rely almost exclusively on the experience and knowledge of your personal physician for help with your medical problems. In today’s information-rich world, anyone with Internet access can personally review the latest research in medical journals, trade notes with other patients around the world, and easily find books that speak directly to the problem at hand. It is quite likely that patients like you may come across effective new therapies for your condition before your doctor does. Enter FODMAPs, the most effective nutrition therapy for IBS to come along in a long time.
Chances are, your doctor has never heard of FODMAPs (extra points for keeping up on professional reading for those who have). Hey, it’s OK to learn something new from a patient—the smartest doctors learn something new every day, and don’t try to pretend they know everything! To help your doctor save a little face, do mention FODMAPs when you make your appointment if you plan to make it a major topic of conversation at your next office visit, so he or she can do a quick bit of research before seeing you.
If your doctor asks you what the heck FODMAPs are, quote the following phrase in doctor-speak: “FODMAPs are rapidly fermentable, osmotically active carbohydrates that can cause symptoms in up to 75% of individuals with IBS. Lactose is an example of a FODMAP carbohydrate, but there are several others as well, including fructose, sugar alcohols, and certain types of dietary fiber.” Then, in a spirit of collaboration, ask your doctor for what you need:
· “Can you refer me to a dietitian for help with a low-FODMAP diet? I’d like to try it, since high fiber diet/fiber supplements/drugs didn’t help me.”
· “It helped, but there is still room for improvement. Are there any other treatments or diagnostics we could consider?”
· It didn’t help, so it would seem that dietary carbohydrate intolerance is not my problem. Can you suggest any other treatment options we haven’t tried yet?”
If you get relief from the IBSFree FODMAP elimination diet, be sure to let your health care provider know. You might inspire him or her to learn more about how FODMAPs can help other patients.