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In the case of an irritable bowel, the most often recommended diet is the low FODMAP diet*. This acronym includes the families of fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for the symptoms in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is a great deal of scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of this diet, which enables people with IBS to identify problem food groups and thereby better manage their symptoms.
By adopting a keto diet, which is very low in carbohydrates, we eliminate grain products, legumes, the majority of fruits as well as many vegetables. As a result, the total load of fermentable carbohydrates consumed is reduced.
In this way, the exclusion of certain FODMAP families would permit one to temporarily reduce the various intestinal problems encountered in people with IBS such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea or constipation.
However, the keto diet does not eliminate all of the FODMAP families. In effect, there are fructans with garlic and onion, sorbitol with avocado, mannitol with cauliflower, galacto-oligosaccharides with certain nuts and seeds, and lactose with cream, Greek yogurt and cheeses. Given the lack of variety in this diet, the same vegetables and dairy products will repeat themselves over the course of the week. So, if you have a hard time tolerating a FODMAP family, the consumption frequency of these foods can have a negative impact on your symptoms.
Additionally, since the keto diet is high in fat, it could actually exacerbate IBS symptoms because:
In addition to these effects which could aggravate an irritable bowel, a keto diet can also cause nutritional deficiencies, particularly with the B group of vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin C and calcium. And, depending on how you follow the diet, you may consume too much saturated fat.
*FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that are partly responsible for causing symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For more info, read this article.