Mercy Gastroenterologist Dr. Matilda Hagan Discusses Low FODMAP Diet For Reducing Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

February 8, 2016
Dr. Matilda Hagan - Mercy Medical Center

Millions of people suffer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a very common affliction.

Many people just treat the symptoms. But what if you could keep the painful gas, bloating and diarrhea from happening to begin with?

Medical experts say there is a new diet that could help. The diet is called a low FODMAP diet.

According to Mercy gastroenterologist Dr. Matilda Hagan of The Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease, FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharaides and polyols. Basically these are substances found in various fruits, vegetables and grains

High FODMAP foods contain sugars that can be difficult to digest.

"The thought is that these sugars don't get broken down appropriately," Dr. Hagan said. "They make their way into the bacteria in the large intestine primarily. It gets fermented and subsequently produces gas, bloating and the feeling of pain for those who have irritable bowel syndrome."

Avoiding those foods prevents the discomfort. So what are high FODMAP foods? The list is rather extensive, but in general they are gas-producing, high fiber foods like artichokes (and) broccoli. Fruits include stone pit fruits like apricots, nectarines, peaches (and) mango. Dairy products, milk, yogurt would be on the list as well as high fiber breads like whole wheat breads.

The idea is to carefully avoid all the high FODMAP foods for six to eight weeks and then gradually re-introduce some of those foods. 

Dr. Hagan noted that the low FODMAP diet may be worth a try.

"For a number of people it seems to have helped them," Dr. Hagan said.


Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

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Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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