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FODMAP Diet and Eating Disorder Recovery?

I tend to suggest more gentle approaches before using the low FODMAP diet.

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Our Ask an Expert Column allows you to submit your questions anonymously to our panel of health professionals. To submit a question of your own, visit liberomagazine.com/ask

Question:


What are your thoughts on the FODMAP diet for those who have a history with an eating disorder or disordered eating?
-L


Dear L,

When working with clients with a history of disordered eating experiencing digestive issues, I tend to suggest more gentle approaches before using the low FODMAP diet.

For example, we might experiment with:

  • Reducing common gut disrupters like artificial sugars, added fibre (ex: inulin), and caffeine
  • Introducing probiotics, digestive enzymes, a magnesium supplement, or herbal supplements (like Iberogast)
  • Breathing exercises
  • Warm beverages like peppermint tea
  • And more!

When we have exhausted these options, we may consider trialing a modified, less restrictive version of the low FODMAP diet.

I encourage clients to regularly assess how these dietary changes are making them feel. Being reflective can help to identify any reappearance of unhelpful thoughts or behaviours.

In conclusion, I believe a modified low FODMAP diet can be helpful for some, especially when approached within the context of self-care.

I would encourage getting support from an eating disorder dietitian if this accessible, as well as an increased awareness of how our relationship with food is being impacted by these dietary changes.

Sincerely,

Josée Sovinsky, RD

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