IBS and low FODMAP diet for treatment: cross sectional study to investigate general population’s perception of practicalities of the following the diet.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Emerging evidence indicates that low consumption of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) may result in improved symptoms in some patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The diet is restrictive to follow due to multiple food groups involved. The present study aimed to investigate the general public’s perception of the practicalities and barriers of following a Low FODMAP diet. Method: A cross sectional study design was selected; qualitative data was gathered via two focus group discussions using the general public, one male group (n-4) and another female (n-5). This allowed for gender differences to be explored. Qualitative thematic analysis of the focus group transcript allowed for key themes to be identified and explored. Results: A variety of perspectives were expressed between both groups regarding feasibility of following the low FODMAP diet. Overall, it was agreed that it would be an ‘inconvenience’ to follow this in their everyday life due to various barriers encountered when following the diet. Barriers identified included cost, ingredients (onions, garlic), eating out, time for preparation and shopping and symptom severity. Both genders identified similar barriers but there were clear gender differences in how these barriers were perceived. Solutions to the barriers that may be encountered were discussed and concluded that food labels were misleading for those following the diet. Motivation to comply with the diet was generally linked with severity of symptoms and how much quality of life is affected.
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