Food intolerance in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is increasingly being recognized, with patients convinced that diet plays a role in symptom induction. Evidence is building to implicate fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) in the onset of abdominal pain, bloating, wind and altered bowel habit through their fermentation and osmotic effects. Hypersensitivity to normal levels of luminal distension is known to occur in patients with IBS, with consideration of food chemical intolerance likely to answer many questions about this physiological process. This paper summarizes the evidence and application of the most common approaches to managing food intolerance in IBS: the low-FODMAP diet, the elimination diet for food chemical sensitivity and others including possible noncoeliac gluten intolerance.
Keywords: FODMAPs; food chemicals; food intolerance; fructose; gluten; irritable bowel syndrome; salicylates.