Low-FODMAP Diet Is Associated With Improved Quality of Life in IBS Patients-A Prospective Observational Study

Nutr Clin Pract. 2019 Aug;34(4):623-630. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10233. Epub 2019 Jan 15.


Background: The low fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide, and polyol (FODMAP) diet is effectively manages irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Long-term low-FODMAP studies rarely report quality of life (QoL). We aimed to determine the effect of low-FODMAP diet on long-term QoL, gastrointestinal (GI) and non-GI symptoms in IBS patients.

Methods: A prospective observational study of IBS patients referred for low-FODMAP dietary advice was performed. The primary outcome of QoL and secondary outcomes of GI symptoms, anxiety/depression, fatigue, sleep quality, and happiness were obtained at baseline, 6 weeks (T6), and 6 months (T26).

Results: 111 patients were recruited. 91.0%, 71.6%, and 50.5% of participants completed baseline, T6, and T26 assessments, respectively. There were significant improvements in QoL from baseline at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.001). Significant reductions were seen in GI symptoms at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.001), fatigue at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.003), and anxiety at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.007), compared with baseline. A significant reduction was seen for depression (P < 0.010) from baseline at T26, and a significant increase was seen for both happiness and vitality (both P < 0.04) from baseline at T26. There was a significant correlation between GI symptom response and change in QoL, anxiety, depression, and fatigue (all P < 0.034).

Conclusion: Low-FODMAP diet was associated with improved long-term QoL and GI symptoms, reduced fatigue and anxiety/depression, and increased happiness and vitality. These data support a wider range of benefits for IBS patients consuming a low-FODMAP diet.

Keywords: FODMAP; anxiety; depression; diarrhea; diet therapy; fatigue; irritable bowel syndrome; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted / methods
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted / psychology*
  • Disaccharides / analysis
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monosaccharides / analysis
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis
  • Polymers / analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Polymers
  • polyol