Tuesday, 4 November 2014

FAQ: The low FODMAP diet is helping to control my symptoms, should I stay on it forever?

By Caroline Tuck

The short answer is no. In fact, we do not encourage patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome who have been following a low FODMAP diet to continue the diet in the long term. This is for a number of reasons:

1. Many people can re-introduce some higher FODMAP foods into their diet and still have good symptom control. So it is not necessary to stay on a strict low FODMAP diet.

2. Foods higher in FODMAPs are also high in prebiotics, which means they help to feed the good bacteria in our gut.

3. It is important for food variety to reintroduce any foods well tolerated back into the diet.

So how do I start the re-introduction process you ask? Speak with a dietitian who is experienced in this area to get you started! See links below to find your local dietitian association listings:



New Zealand

South Africa





  1. What are you supposed to do if you fail every re-introduction, even small amounts? Which is better - few prebiotics or IBS symptoms? My dietician's at a loss and I'm confused!

  2. Hi Ginger,

    It is OK to stay on the low FODMAP diet for a longer period of time if you need it to control your symptoms. IBS symptoms often wax and wane, i.e. at certain times your symptoms may be better than others. When symptoms are improved, you can re-try the re-introductions to see if you can tolerate them again. It is important to keep testing your tolerance regularly (e.g. every 3-6 months or so) to see if your tolerance to certain foods have changed.

  3. For UK dietitians it may be more useful to search for dietitians trained at King's College London http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/dns/projects/fodmaps/index.aspx

  4. Thank you! There isn't much info/research around about following a low FODMAP diet long-term, so this is really helpful.

  5. Thank you for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!!