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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Can Low FODMAP Diet App Help Some Celiac and IBS Patients?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      A new app that can help people zero in on FODMAPs in food might be helpful to people with IBS, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity.


    Caption: Image: CC--Brett Gaylor

    Celiac.com 03/06/2019 - FODMAPs is an acronym, short for “fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.” FODMAPs is a single name for a bunch of different molecules, common in many in foods, that are poorly absorbed by some people. People who can’t tolerate FODMAPs can suffer celiac-like gastrointestinal symptoms. A low FODMAP diet has been shown to help reduce symptoms of IBS, and could be helpful to some people with celiac disease. FODMAPs have also been shown to play a role in non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Now, a new app can help people zero in on FODMAPs in food.

    FODMAPS Trigger Celiac-Like Symptoms in Some People

    In case you didn’t know, there’s a group of carbohydrates called FODMAPs that may play trigger celiac-like symptoms in certain sensitive people. New research shows that reducing or avoiding FODMAPs, which are poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, can help to alleviate symptoms of IBS. A Low FODMAP diet works by restricting foods that are high in FODMAPs. Some people with celiacs who experience GI symptoms on a gluten-free diet, and some people with IBS may benefit from eliminating FODMAPS.

    High FODMAP foods include, but are not limited to: 

    • apricots
    • avocado
    • beans
    • cherries
    • dairy
    • fruits
    • garlic
    • high fructose corn syrup
    • honey
    • legumes (soy)
    • lentils
    • maltitol
    • mannitol
    • nectarines
    • onion
    • peaches
    • plums
    • sorbitol
    • wheat
    • xylitol

    FODMAPs and Gluten-sensitivity in IBS?

    Some research points to a connection or connections between FODMAPs and gluten-sensitivity in IBS. Doctors have been working to figure out the best dietary strategies, including gluten-free, wheat-free and low FODMAP diets, for the management of IBS symptoms.

    A recent study of IBS patients shows that rye bread low in FODMAPs can reduce hydrogen excretion, lower intraluminal pressure, raise colonic pH, improve transit times, and reduce IBS symptoms, compared to regular rye bread.

    APP Helps You Avoid FODMAPs

    Researchers with the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University in Australia have developed a diet and related smartphone application to help manage gastrointestinal symptoms associated with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) The app is available on both iPhone and Android. Users in over 100 countries worldwide have helped the app become the most popular medical app in over 50 countries.

    Traffic Lights for FODMAPS

    The app is based on a comprehensive database of FODMAP content in food, and lists FODMAP foods with a traffic light system and by serving size. Foods coded red are high in FODMAPs and should be avoided, orange coded foods are moderate in FODMAPs and may be tolerated by some people. Foods coded green are low in FODMAPs and are safe to eat. 

    The app features specific food serving size suggestions help users know how much of a given food is safe to eat. The app also contains other information about IBS as well as recipes and meal ideas to help IBS patients interpret and follow the diet. Proceeds from the sale of the application will go towards funding further research.

    More information about the app can be found on the Monash University website.

    Read more at: Influence of low FODMAP and gluten-free diets on disease activity and intestinal microbiota in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity


    User Feedback

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    This is a very good app.  I use it weekly and it was well worth the small amount I paid to have this information on my phone.  I would also recommend working with a gastro dietitian (yes, they are out there) to tweek this app so it works to it's fullest potential in helping with the FODMAP diet.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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