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How can what I eat, help to reduce my pain? The role of the low FODMAP diet.

Gastrointestinal symptoms can co-exist with pelvic pain in many individuals. These gastrointestinal symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, discomfort, wind and reflux with alternating bowel habits such as diarrhea and constipation. The pain in the pelvis can communicate with the bowel and may lead to symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome. The low FODMAP diet has been shown to successfully improve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in many sufferers. And very recently, it has been demonstrated that the low FODMAP diet is also very effective in women with gut symptoms and endometriosis.

A low FODMAP diet restricts the amount of particular types of carbohydrates in order to improve gastrointestinal symptoms. These carbohydrates are poorly or slow absorbed in the small intestinal and are rapidly fermentable. They are found in a large range of foods. The low FODMAP diet is not a long-life diet. It is only meant to be followed for 2-6 weeks and with the guidance of a dietitian who has an interest in gastrointestinal nutrition. The low FODMAP diet may seem overwhelming, especially as certain foods need to be eliminated from the diet. A dietitian can explain this diet, help identify trigger foods and assist with in the re-introduction of other foods – this ensures that symptoms are managed, nutrition needs are met and more importantly that foods are not being eliminated unnecessarily. To assist those who are already undertaking a low FODMAP diet, the team at Nutrition Strategies (Amelia Pilichiewicz and Stephanie Gaskell) and the chef from the popular Five Little Figs café (Michelle Campbell) have created a cook book. This book contains quick and easy, yet nutritional recipes which are tasty and enjoyable.

You can buy the recipe book online via the Nutrition Strategies website:

If you suffer from pelvic pain and would like to know how some changes in your diet may relieve any associated bowel issues, contact Dr Amelia Pilichiewicz at Nutrition Strategies on 1300 88 65 44 or by email on

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