Low-FODMAP diet reduces irritable bowel symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2017 May 14;23(18):3356-3366. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i18.3356.


Aim: To investigate the effect of a low-FODMAP diet on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Methods: This was a randomised controlled open-label trial of patients with IBD in remission or with mild-to-moderate disease and coexisting IBS-like symptoms (Rome III) randomly assigned to a Low-FODMAP diet (LFD) or a normal diet (ND) for 6 wk between June 2012 and December 2013. Patients completed the IBS symptom severity system (IBS-SSS) and short IBD quality of life questionnaire (SIBDQ) at weeks 0 and 6. The primary end-point was response rates (at least 50-point reduction) in IBS-SSS at week 6 between groups; secondary end-point was the impact on quality of life.

Results: Eighty-nine patients, 67 (75%) women, median age 40, range 20-70 years were randomised: 44 to LFD group and 45 to ND, from which 78 patients completed the study period and were included in the final analysis (37 LFD and 41 ND). There was a significantly larger proportion of responders in the LFD group (n = 30, 81%) than in the ND group (n = 19, 46%); (OR = 5.30; 95%CI: 1.81-15.55, P < 0.01). At week 6, the LFD group showed a significantly lower median IBS-SSS (median 115; inter-quartile range [IQR] 33-169) than ND group (median 170, IQR 91-288), P = 0.02. Furthermore, the LFD group had a significantly greater increase in SIBDQ (median 60, IQR 51-65) than the ND group (median 50, IQR 39-60), P < 0.01.

Conclusion: In a prospective study, a low-FODMAP diet reduced IBS-like symptoms and increased quality of life in patients with IBD in remission.

Keywords: Inflammatory bowel disease; Irritable bowel syndrome; Low-FODMAP diet; Web-based management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Diet*
  • Disaccharides / chemistry
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Internet
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monosaccharides / chemistry
  • Oligosaccharides / chemistry
  • Patient Compliance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Remission Induction
  • Young Adult


  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • C-Reactive Protein