Are you after 4-8 weeks of the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet? Intestinal discomfort that you have previously been sleeping with your eyelids stopped? In that case, the time has finally come to extend the diet, and how to do it you will learn from our article.
Reintroduction – what is it?
Reintoduction is the time after the elimination phase in which products with a large amount of FODMAP are introduced. The purpose of this action is to check the body’s response, and thus tolerance to specific FODMAP. This phase lasts an average of 10 weeks, a good weekday for every product that contains the given FODMAP. For testing at this time is fructose, sorbitol, mannitol, lactose (unless you are on a plant diet then you can omit it), two types of cereal products containing fructans, two types of vegetables also abundant in fructans, fructans from fruits and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) .
Why expand your diet?
Phase I diet low FODMAP, which is the elimination diet time, is a transitional period. The diet excluding a large group of food products is fraught with food shortage, so it can not be used for more than 8 weeks. In addition, thanks to reintroduction, people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome find out what heightens their unpleasant IBS symptoms and their menu and health gains a lot.
What can I expect?
On the one hand, it is a long-awaited time, because finally you can return to the forbidden food elimination time. On the other hand, we do not know how the body reacts. It may turn out that the product causes intestinal rebellion and the return of the hated and already slightly forgotten symptoms of IBS. Then you should return for a few days to the elimination phase before testing the next FODMAP. Let’s not be bad, though. It may turn out that a given group of products does not irritate the intestines and soon after reintroduction, it can be permanently included in the menu.
Eat, record and control
This is an interesting but demanding time. In order to get to know your body as well as possible, you should keep a diary where, in addition to the menu, there are observations of the intestinal reaction to a given product. Such notes will allow to detect any nuances that may be crucial in further dietary treatment.
Re-introduction step by step
- To properly check the organism’s tolerance on a given FODMAP, eg fructose, a product should be introduced that contains only this one type of FODMAP. This means that good honey for the fructose test will be for example honey because it does not contain other FODMAPs, e.g. lactose or sorbitol. An apple is a bad “tester” because it contains fructose and sorbitol, which could mislead you.
- Each FODMAP should be entered separately so that the observations are not falsified. First a product rich in fructose, then sorbitol, then mannitol, etc.
- Each FODMAP should be tested for one week using three provocations at that time and four days of the elimination phase. The first – a small amount of eg a teaspoon of honey (fructose), the second – the average amount of eg 2 teaspoons of honey and the third – a large amount of eg 3 teaspoons each day for a different meal). Three days of provocation can be set to follow each other. If the intestines are not “crazed” it means that most likely the FODMAP is safe for you. However, if the IBS symptoms have worsened, stop the challenge and return to the elimination phase and start testing another FODMAP from Monday.
- Remember that after every three provocations given FODMAP use 2-3 days of strict diet according to the rules of the elimination phase. This is the time necessary to mute the body and prepare for a new type of FODMAP. If the last FODMAP exacerbated the symptoms of IBS, extend the elimination phase by further days so that before your next attempt your body had a minimum of 2 days of calm, i.e. a condition without IBS symptoms.
- No matter if you have already served FODMAP or not, DO NOT go to the end of the reintroduction phase. This could distort further observations. Relax, you’ll bounce back later)
- Do not eat too large FODMAP portions. In practice, this means that you should not eat more product than you would do every day. Have you never eaten more than a tablespoon of honey at once? In this case, do not exceed this portion during the test.
I hope that thanks to the above instructions, the implementation of the second phase of the low FODMAPw life diet will be easier for you. Remember not to be discouraged and be patient. The low FODMAP diet is not a lifelong diet. It is a tool helpful in detecting products that harm your body, which translates into a better life comfort in the future.