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What are your thoughts on the FODMAP diet for those who have a history with an eating disorder or disordered eating?
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.
Josée Sovinsky, RD
Ask An Expert Column Disclaimer: Our “Ask an Expert” column is meant to serve as a place to ask a question anonymously and receive a public response from a certified health professional in the form of a Q&A-style article. Although our Experts are certified professionals in their area of expertise, their advice may not be suitable for your situation, and thus is not to be taken in place of that given by your personal healthcare team. Please always consult your own healthcare team before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Always use your own good judgment, and consult a licensed mental or physical health practitioner for specific treatment. Do not use this column if you are in crisis. If you are in crisis, contact 911 (in North America), your local emergency number, or one of the Helplines listed in our resources section.
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