When you have persistent digestive symptoms, you often receive a chorus of advice about the simple thing you should be doing to eliminate all your problems. The advice can run the gamut from well-meaning diet recommendations to comments that are much less constructive.
Here at FoodMarble, we often hear the myth that people with digestive issues need to “just stop eating junk.” This ignores the reality that many people who deal with regular digestive symptoms are careful about their diets and have already tried a multitude of strategies in search of relief. Taking care to eat well, experiencing symptoms and still not knowing the cause is a frustrating experience that many in FoodMarble have dealt with personally.
The reality of dealing with digestive symptoms
The fact is, human digestion is complex and there’s no one diet that’s ideal for everyone. People can have digestive symptoms for a variety of reasons, and many people experience them after eating healthy foods. That can be caused by common trigger substances found in a variety of fruits, vegetables and legumes — even ones that have received attention for being “super foods”.
These common triggers, known as FODMAPs, are a family of carbohydrates that are difficult to digest. Lactose is one of the most well-known FODMAPs, but they also include things like fructose, sorbitol and inulin. These can be found in everything from apples and garlic to avocado and onions.
When you don’t fully digest FODMAPs, they can reach your large intestine, where they’re consumed by bacteria. This process is called fermentation and produces gases like hydrogen in your gut. In sensitive people, it can also lead to digestive symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain and more.
People with persistent digestive symptoms can benefit from removing FODMAPs from their diet, but reacting to one FODMAP doesn’t mean you’ll have an issue with all of them. That’s why it’s important to determine the unique diet that works best for your digestive system. Not knowing what your triggers are can leave you feeling unwell, but restricting things that you may tolerate well can make it difficult to get all the nutrients you need.
Determining that unique diet, whether through elimination or with FoodMarble, is a process. But working through that process and identifying your triggers can lead to major improvements in symptoms, which means less anxiety about eating, fewer emergency trips to the toilet and more enjoying your meals!
FoodMarble is a pocket-sized breath analysis device. It helps people with chronic digestive issues determine the foods that work best with their digestive system. To learn more about FoodMarble, visit www.foodmarble.com.