Clinical response in Mexican patients with irritable bowel syndrome treated with a low diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAP)

Rev Gastroenterol Mex. 2015 Jul-Sep;80(3):180-5. doi: 10.1016/j.rgmx.2015.06.008. Epub 2015 Aug 20.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Background: The low FODMAP diet eliminates carbohydrates and fermentable alcohols because they are not absorbed by the intestine, but are fermented by the microbiota, causing bloating and flatulence.

Aims: To evaluate the clinical response to the low FODMAP diet in patients with the different clinical subtypes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Materials and methods: Patients attended to at the Gastroenterology Department in 2014 that were diagnosed with IBS based on the Rome III criteria were included in the study. They were managed with a low FODMAP diet for 21 days and their response to the symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and stool form pre and post-diet were evaluated through the visual analogue scale, Bristol scale, and patient overall satisfaction. The results were analyzed by means, 95% CI, and the Student's t test.

Results: Of the 31 patients included in the study, 87% were women and the mean age was 46.48 years. Distribution was: IBS-C 64.5%, IBS-D 22.6%, and IBS-M 12.9%. The score for pain was 6.0 (95% CI 5.04-6.96) and the post-diet score was 2.77 (95% CI 1.60-3.95) (P<.001). The score for bloating was 7.10 (95% CI 6.13-8.06) and the post-diet score was 4.19 (95% CI 2.95-5.44) (P<.001). The score for flatulence was 5.94 (95% CI 4.79-7.08) and the post-diet score was 3.06 (IC95% 1.99-4.14) (P<.001). The pre-diet Bristol Scale result was 3.68 (95% CI 3.14-4.22) and the post-diet result was 4.10 (95% CI 3.66-4.54) (P=.1). The satisfaction percentage was 70.9%.

Conclusions: In this first study on a Mexican population with IBS, there was significant improvement of the main symptoms, including pain, bloating, and flatulence after treatment with a low FODMAP diet.

Keywords: Abdominal pain; Diet; Diet low in fermentable carbohydrates; Dieta; Dieta baja en carbohidratos fermentables; Dolor abdominal; Flatulence; Flatulencia; Irritable bowel syndrome; Síndrome de intestino irritable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy
  • Diet, Gluten-Free*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Carbohydrates