Has Anyone Tried the FODMAP Diet?

lisapetrison

Active Member
I'm wondering if anyone here has tried the low FODMAP diet or even knows anyone with ME/CFS/fibro/etc. who has.

This is actually a really mainstream diet now for IBS, with quite a lot of peer-reviewed articles in the literature about it being helpful. Since IBS and ME/CFS are generally understood to be co-morbid, it surprises me how few cases I have heard of people with ME/etc. even trying it.

It's a very odd diet since it excludes certain things that even the Paleo diets encourage people to eat a lot of, including such foods as garlic, onions, broccoli and apples. So the odds that most people will have tried it inadvertently may be pretty low.

The basic theory here seems to be that it is assumed that there are bad infections in the lower intestines and that by eliminating certain foods (basically anything that bacteria like to eat), the bacteria can be made less problematic. So anyone who has ever had a bad reaction to a prebiotic (and I have heard of a lot of people with ME/CFS who have) for sure should be interested in this diet.

I've been really immersed in the health community for years and also have quite bad gut problems (my main remaining symptom) but have never even considered trying it until now. I had occasionally heard of it but dismissed it as just another one in a long string of diets that people were trying.

But it actually has really clear results in the literature. And when I asked the members of a mold-oriented FB group (mostly patients with ME/CFS, fibro, Lyme, etc.), virtually everyone who had tried the diet reported having benefited.

Preferably, this is not a diet to pursue forever. A lot of people are able to eventually add back many or most of the foods on the diet. But as a short-term intervention, I think it has promise and so am going to give it a try myself.

Here is the information about it from Stanford.

https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/for-patients-component/programs-services/clinical-nutrition-services/docs/pdf-lowfodmapdiet.pdf
 
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lisapetrison

Active Member
That is interesting that you in particular have found that diet useful, Cort.

What I seem to be seeing is that people with this disease who have made their way to good environments tend to improve on a wide variety of measures, but that - as has been the case with me - in some cases their gut issues actually get worse. Or at least, are the last thing to improve.

My working theory on this is that once people get clear of toxic exposures, then their bodies proceed to detoxify the stuff that has been stored in their tissues - in most cases through their guts. And that the toxins (especially the mycotoxins) have a really bad impact on the composition of the gut microbiome as they move through - killing off the good bacteria and allowing the bad ones to take over.

(That's what mycotoxins, aka "antibiotics," are designed to do, of course - kill off a wide swath of microorganisms in the environment so that the fungi can grow more easily. I see no reason why they wouldn't be doing this in the gut too. One of these days, a researcher is going to try giving satratoxin to a mouse and then looking at the effects on the microbiome, and it's going to change everything.)

Dave Asprey is another mold avoider who seems to have found this sort of diet helpful. He not only excluded almost all the high-FODMAP foods from the Bulletproof diet, but he also did an experiment where he went for a couple of years on a self-invented Eskimo diet, where he ate no vegetables at all. He said that his health actually got better during that time but that eventually his gut lining and mucous membranes broke down.

Whether the FODMAP diet would be as helpful for people who are more acutely ill with ME/CFS/etc. or who are at an early stage of recovery via toxin avoidance, I don't know. But it does seem that especially for people who are further along in recovery, it might be something to consider.

One mold avoider whose gut seems to be fine is Erik Johnson. But he has done most of his detoxification via sweating in pristine places, with the conscious goal of keeping the toxins out of his intestinal tract as much as possible. Maybe that was a good idea.

By the way, I was reading some other posts in this section of your forum. I do really, really well with that GT's Kombucha too. I wish I could afford to drink several bottles a day, but even one bottle seems really helpful.

I've just been doing the FODMAP diet for two days, but I already am seeing a little bit of solid improvement. So especially since you have done well with it, I am hopeful that I am on the right track with it.

I will read that blog now. I sort of guessed you already would have put some thought into this topic, but I didn't realize you actually had written about it already!

Thanks much for your help.
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Interesting.

You may know that Dr. Rea in Dallas used sauna for detoxification purposes. As I remember he believes that more toxins are released into the gut via sauna than through the sweat. He has patients take fiber, oil and some supplements to bind the toxins in the gut before they can be reabsorbed back into the body.

Good luck with the diet!
 

lisapetrison

Active Member
What I have found is that when I have used a sauna at an okay gym in a city where I do reasonably okay, I can sweat gallons but that what I excrete feels pretty free of toxins (e.g. basically like salty water).

On the other hand, if I am tent camping in a really pristine warm location and then go for a hike, my sweat very often feels REALLY disgusting.

So I am going to suggest that sitting in a sauna in a building with an air filter running in Dallas does not count as "sweating in a pristine place."

And that the results that Dr. Rea is reporting may be due to that. And thus should not necessarily be taken as definitive evidence that toxins never can be removed directly through the sweat.

:)
 

Remy

Administrator
Many veggies are high in lectins which are also extremely inflammatory to the gut.

I wonder if the benefit of FODMAPS is actually coming from the lectin avoidance?
 

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