Frequently Asked Questions

IBS doesn’t cause physical damage or involve the immune system.  At this stage there are no biomarkers or diagnostic tests (blood tests, endoscopy, ultrasound) that can be used to confirm diagnosis. Instead, diagnosis is made by seeing your doctor to exclude medical conditions that may be involved in causing your symptoms followed by considering symptoms in comparison to ROME IV criteria.

Recurrent abdominal pain on average at least 1 day/week in the last 3 months, associated with two or more of the following criteria:

  • Related to defecation
  • Associated with a change in frequency of stool
  • Associated with a change in the form (appearance) of stool

NB: criteria should be fulfilled for the last 3 months with symptom onset at least 6 months prior to diagnosis.

IBS can be classified into subtypes:

  • IBS – C – constipation dominant
  • IBS – D diarrhoea dominant
  • IBS – M – alternating between constipation and diarrhoea

There are many tests (IgG, hair samples, Vega testing) that are offered by alternative practitioners which claim to identify intolerances. These test lack evidence, are expensive and unreliable. They can also lead to false diagnosis. The gold standard for identifying a food intolerance is an Elimination style diet followed by systematic challenges under the guidance of a specialised Registered Dietitian.

It is not necessary to have a breath test for fructose malabsorption or lactose intolerance. This study from Monash University found that breath tests often give false negatives or false positives. Further, there was little correlation between breath tests and symptoms that were experienced by patients. Since FODMAPs do not cause damage, they only need to be limited if they cause symptoms and the only way to know this is by doing an Elimination diet followed by structured challenges with a specialised Registered Dietitian

No, spicy foods, fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks are generally low FODMAP, however these are well known gut irritants. There are other molecules in food that some people are intolerant of (e.g. salicylates, proteins, additives) these can also cause gut upset in susceptible people. If you think this might be you, it’s best to see a specialist Registered Dietitian for personalized advice.

Before starting a Low FODMAP Diet, you will need to see your doctor to discuss conditions that may be triggering your symptoms. Celiac disease, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and even some cancers can have identical symptoms to IBS, but require very different treatment.

Once you have determined that you have IBS, the next step is to see a specialised dietitian who can guide you through the phases of the Low FODMAP Diet and tailor it to suit your needs.

Focusing on what you can eat, makes the Low FODMAP Diet much more enjoyable. Download our chart of low FODMAP swaps here, check out our dietitian approved low FODMAP recipes here and don’t forget to look for the FODMAP Friendly logo when you are shopping.

At Lo-Fo Pantry, we know that IBS can be isolating, which is why it’s important to get support. A specialised Registered Dietitian is a great start. You can also follow Lo-Fo Pantry social media on Facebook and Instagram and join a closed Facebook group. We recommend Low FODMAP Australia, this group is well moderated and has specialist Registered Dietitians monitoring it to ensure information is accurate and up to date.

Gluten is the protein in wheat, barley and rye while FODMAPs are the carbohydrates in wheat, barley and rye. These are different molecules that can occur in similar foods. Unlike avoiding gluten in celiac disease, FODMAPs only need to be limited enough to keep you under your symptom threshold when managing IBS symptoms. This means that low FODMAP certified foods containing gluten are safe to eat when following a Low FODMAP Diet.

Lactose is a “Di-saccharide” or the “D” in the FODMAP equation. Lactose free dairy products are low FODMAP and allowed on a Low FODMAP Diet. Examples include: cheese and butter which are naturally lactose free as well as lactose free milk, yoghurt, ice cream and custard.

No, FODMAPs are water soluble, so they will leech into other food while cooking, making the entire dish high FODMAP.

These are low FODMAP as FODMAPs are not oil soluble. They can be infused with the flavour of garlic or onion, without infusing the FODMAPs. Just be careful if you do this at home, we suggest storing homemade oils in the fridge and using them within three days. Alternatively, homemade infused oils can be frozen for safekeeping.

Lo-Fo Pantry Plain Flour is available at Coles and Woolworths Australia-wide. We are currently only available for purchase in Australia.

Our PET containers ensure our Plain Flour is always fresh ready for baking! Recyclable and reusable, the containers are great for food storage including for pantry staples such as rice, grains, pastas and seeds, as well as for other more creative storage solutions including for toy building blocks, art and crafts, and home improvement tools.

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