Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional bowel disorder. Up to 96% of IBS patients experience bloating, resulting in poor response to conventional therapies and high consultation rates. Many IBS patients report that food triggers symptoms, particularly diets with poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates, and restrict intake of certain foods to control their symptoms. IBS patients are especially susceptible to an attack due to visceral hypersensitivity. An emerging therapeutic strategy excludes fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) from the diet. There is evidence supporting the efficacy of a low FODMAP diet in improving symptoms of bloating in IBS patients. Individualised, structured dietary guidance may benefit those with persistent troublesome symptoms despite traditional therapies. In view of the multifactorial aetiology of the condition, it is probably best to use a multipronged approach, involving combination therapies, to address bloating in IBS patients.
Keywords: FODMAPs; bloating; irritable bowel syndrome; low FODMAP diet.
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