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I've been gluten free since last June, and until recently the bloating was signifcantly improved. However, over the last few months I've been having more digestive issues, and I'm feeling constantly bloated. During this time I've been trying to eat a lot more veges in an effort to lose weight. However, I'm a lazy cook and not terribly fond of veges, and "eating veges" means "adding stir fried onion to dinner" (I include others, but onion is a significant part of my vege intake). It's also been summer time and I've been eating nectarines and plums like the world is about to end.

Yesterday I stumbled upon info about FODMAPs and I was chagrined to read that onion was listed as a major problem. Nectarines and plums were also listed. Oops.

Has anyone else noticed onion as a problem in their diet? I was surprised to see it on the list - the sweet fruits made more sense to me.

I've found some resources and I'm going to experiment by cutting out the major offenders. It'll be a good way to force myself to eat other veges.

But if I want to have the hydrogen test (though I don't know where to do that in Sydney, it seems like Melbourne is where it's all happening), will going light on these foods now mean I can't be tested?

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I've been gluten free since last June, and until recently the bloating was signifcantly improved. However, over the last few months I've been having more digestive issues, and I'm feeling constantly bloated. During this time I've been trying to eat a lot more veges in an effort to lose weight. However, I'm a lazy cook and not terribly fond of veges, and "eating veges" means "adding stir fried onion to dinner" (I include others, but onion is a significant part of my vege intake). It's also been summer time and I've been eating nectarines and plums like the world is about to end.

Yesterday I stumbled upon info about FODMAPs and I was chagrined to read that onion was listed as a major problem. Nectarines and plums were also listed. Oops.

Has anyone else noticed onion as a problem in their diet? I was surprised to see it on the list - the sweet fruits made more sense to me.

I've found some resources and I'm going to experiment by cutting out the major offenders. It'll be a good way to force myself to eat other veges.

But if I want to have the hydrogen test (though I don't know where to do that in Sydney, it seems like Melbourne is where it's all happening), will going light on these foods now mean I can't be tested?

As much as I love onions (cooked or raw) they do not settle well with me and chocolate gives me awful reflux within minutes. Neither are gluten related, but they both serve as a reminder that "I'm Special". :P

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I'm not sure about the breath test, I think that you can just load up before hand, it's not like gluten loading before celiac testing. Different labs have different guidelines though, so you can ask before testing.

I definitely have FODMAP problems. I self-identified a lot of fodmaps as no-no foods before I even knew what fodmaps were, so the evidence was compelling. I knew I had problems with onion and garlic, grapes, apples, pear, legumes etc, and have found problems with inlin.

My dietitian recommended a diet challenge instead of the breath test as it's the single best way of finding out. I'm in Sydney too, my dietitian is Linda Hodge in St Leonards if you're interested, she is very good with food intolerances in general.

Onion is a problem because of fructans, which are long chains of fructose. Some people report good results cooking the onion in oil, the removing the onion before cooking with the oil. The idea is that the fructose/fructans are sugars and dissolve in water, but not oil. It could be worth a try if you want the flavour, otherwise chives are an alternative.

The fruits you mentioned can be a problem because of the fructose, but also because of polyols, which are a type of FODMAP.

If you haven't already, definitely join the yahoo group 'fructose malabsorption australia' as they have up to date lists of safe and problem foods from the researchers at Monash uni, who are the ones who actually test the foods, and have the most reliable info.

I'm still learning myself and have just ordered the full monash book, but i'm happy to try to answer any questions :)

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Thanks Soph! I will look up your dietician, I am really close to St Leonards. I was seeing one last year, to help manage the weight loss/insulin resistance, but while she was very nice I didn't find her very useful.

I have joined that group, thank you for the recommendation. It seems like in general there isn't a lot of information out there because it's all so new, but it's nice we're the country on the cutting edge!. It's so interesting, I always found I had problems with apples too and no there's a possible explanation. Plus I went through a few weeks recently when I was making chicken curry with coconut milk - after not eating coconut milk for years - and that was making me feel weird too.

I'm just glad it doesn't sound you have to be as careful as with gluten. I like the idea of being able to cook onion and then pick it out!

Thank you both for your replies (chocolate making a person sick just seems cruel!)

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Thanks Soph! I will look up your dietician, I am really close to St Leonards. I was seeing one last year, to help manage the weight loss/insulin resistance, but while she was very nice I didn't find her very useful.

I have joined that group, thank you for the recommendation. It seems like in general there isn't a lot of information out there because it's all so new, but it's nice we're the country on the cutting edge!. It's so interesting, I always found I had problems with apples too and no there's a possible explanation. Plus I went through a few weeks recently when I was making chicken curry with coconut milk - after not eating coconut milk for years - and that was making me feel weird too.

I'm just glad it doesn't sound you have to be as careful as with gluten. I like the idea of being able to cook onion and then pick it out!

Thank you both for your replies (chocolate making a person sick just seems cruel!)

Oh, I can't do chocolate at all, pretty much any confectionery sends me right off but chocolate seems to be even worse. Sigh! Maybe down the track.

There are some people on the list who are very sensitive but it's like here, there's a spectrum of sensitivity. Most people learn their tolerance level across categories and manage it that way, rather than avoiding completely.

I saw another dietitian as well previously, she was nice but just didn't seem to understand what I needed. Linda is all about cutting down until you find a manageable level, not avoiding things completely unless you need to (talking about food intolerances here, not gluten). I have found her very sympathetic, and more importantly, knowledgeable and respectful of your experiences.

There is some good information out there but it isn't always widely available. This is mainly because testing each food is very costly, so the research team at Monash uni has to try to protect their intellectual property to recoup a little of the cost. I have recently ordered the fodmap book that they publish, which lists the fodmap content of all foods tested so far, which should help when I get back to introducing foods. If in doubt, always follow Monash and Sue Shepard.

There's a very interesting link between fodmap and mood/sleep problems too. Excess fructose in the large intestine can bind to tryptophan, reducing the absorption. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin, which are very important for mood and sleep. I definitely have a major reaction to excess fructose, or even too much sugar - I wont sleep till 3-4 am, get snappy and moody etc. That's the fructose!

As a note of encouragement, I have had to take a fairly drastic elimination approach for fodmaps and a bunch of other foods, but once I realised how important fodmaps are for me and got a handle on them my digestion is completely normal 90% of the time. Some long standing deficiencies have finally resolved, so my digestion is actually working properly. It's been so incredibly beneficial, and so worth it.

Good luck on your fodmap journey!

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As a note of encouragement, I have had to take a fairly drastic elimination approach for fodmaps and a bunch of other foods, but once I realised how important fodmaps are for me and got a handle on them my digestion is completely normal 90% of the time. Some long standing deficiencies have finally resolved, so my digestion is actually working properly. It's been so incredibly beneficial, and so worth it.

Good luck on your fodmap journey!

That's very encouraging, I remember you've been having a really bad time working it all out. Awesome you are feeling so much better! It's fantastic that this research has come at a time when it could benefit you. It's both fascinating and almost humbling to realise that there was no point in us looking into this 15 years ago. I did find it very interesting that googling "onion" turned up discussion amongst hindus, apparently there are people who avoid onion and garlic for religious reasons. You have to wonder whether they knew something about the dietary issues too.

I don't think it will be too hard for me to follow either. With the insulin resistance, I'm not supposed to eat all the plums and nectarines I've been eating (though thank god nectarines have finally gone out of season here as I have had no will power in the past) and now I have a good reason to stop entirely. The recurrence of bloating etc has just tied so closely into my increased consumption of onions that it seems like a huge neon light I managed to be blind to. On the yahoo group I found a handout from Sue Shepherd and I'm going to use that as vege shopping list, and I'll ditch fruit but for oranges. That's probably why I felt so good when I went gluten free last June, the only fruits I really eat in winter are oranges and mandarins, neither in large quantities and they were on the ok to east list! I started noticing the issues again around the end of last year.

I'm already drinking lactose free milk and I've considerably cut down my yoghurt consumption because it doesn't make me feel good. Gluten is already off the list. The only section that makes me sad is the legumes. I don't think humous or refried beans cause me any problems, but I could be in denial. I'll see the dietician and I'll see how I go.

Thank you! All the best to you on yours!

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It's been a massive undertaking sorting it all out, and I have a lot of work to do, but it's such a relief knowing that at the end I'll be fine. I didn't have any hope of that before this process. I definitely know what you mean about lucky timing, I'm so thankful that I'm gluten free now instead of 10 or 20 years ago, let alone knowing about fodmaps and the rpa diet etc. Think of how many people have been written off as hypochondriacs or worse who are just like us.

It's interesting about onions and garlic being prohibited foods, I do think that our natural aversions can be telling at times. I have thought about trying asafoetida, which is used in traditional foods as a replacement, but I haven't got there yet and I doubt whether it's been tested for fodmaps.

I know what you mean about willpower - I allowed myself a couple of weeks off the diet over January (gluten was still out, everything else was allowed), and I couldn't stop with white peaches. Mmmmm. I blew up like a balloon with french onion dip, which I used to love. It was very hard to cut out the sugar though, that was the worst.

Don't be too despairing about legumes, there's a chance you're fine with them, you just have to test it out. People can have different sensitivities to the different types of fodmaps, so you might be fine with the raffinose. I can eat lactose totally fine, but have major problems with fructose and some of the others. Go figure!

I'll be interested to see how you feel on the diet.

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It's interesting about onions and garlic being prohibited foods, I do think that our natural aversions can be telling at times. I have thought about trying asafoetida, which is used in traditional foods as a replacement, but I haven't got there yet and I doubt whether it's been tested for fodmaps.

This is an interesting discussion. I didn't know too much about the FODMAP diet before reading about it here, but it seems like I have many of the same intolerances. Although I can have garlic, onion has become a huge problem for me (as have leeks). I have found that I can include onions and leeks in broths (removing them before making the soup, obviously) and I'm fine with that. But no matter how much I cook them, I can't eat them themselves in meals. However, for the past couple of years I have replaced them with shallots, which are milder and give me no problem. It might be worth a try. They are more expensive, but if you have a health food store near you and can buy them more in bulk, they're not as bad as in the mainstream supermarkets, where they're priced up even more.

Be careful with asafoetida - it can have gluten in it. It depends, but probably a good idea to find out the source of the spice so that you can be sure.

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I have found that I can include onions and leeks in broths (removing them before making the soup, obviously) and I'm fine with that. But no matter how much I cook them, I can't eat them themselves in meals.

Gleegan, I've that erad that they offer that as a suggestion, that you can still have the flavour but just not the onion itself. I might give it a try.

I cut out the main offenders on the weekend and felt really good in the days since... and then I tried stir fried onions tonight as a test (I had some left, I was curious). UGH! Really bad reaction. Fascinating though, I never would've thought it was the onions before. They are a vegetable and veges are good for you! Not this one :-( You just never stop learning.

I have an appointment next week with your dietician Soph. I'll let you know how it goes.

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