Low-FODMAP Diet Is Associated With Improved Quality of Life in IBS Patients—A Prospective Observational Study

Tim L. Kortlever, Sebastiaan ten Bokkel Huinink, Marleen Offereins, Clarice Hebblethwaite, Leigh O'Brien, Julie Leeper, Chris J. J. Mulder, Jacqueline S. Barrett, Richard B. Gearry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The low fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide, and polyol (FODMAP) diet is effectively manages irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Long-term low-FODMAP studies rarely report quality of life (QoL). We aimed to determine the effect of low-FODMAP diet on long-term QoL, gastrointestinal (GI) and non-GI symptoms in IBS patients. Methods: A prospective observational study of IBS patients referred for low-FODMAP dietary advice was performed. The primary outcome of QoL and secondary outcomes of GI symptoms, anxiety/depression, fatigue, sleep quality, and happiness were obtained at baseline, 6 weeks (T6), and 6 months (T26). Results: 111 patients were recruited. 91.0%, 71.6%, and 50.5% of participants completed baseline, T6, and T26 assessments, respectively. There were significant improvements in QoL from baseline at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.001). Significant reductions were seen in GI symptoms at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.001), fatigue at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.003), and anxiety at T6 and T26 (both P < 0.007), compared with baseline. A significant reduction was seen for depression (P < 0.010) from baseline at T26, and a significant increase was seen for both happiness and vitality (both P < 0.04) from baseline at T26. There was a significant correlation between GI symptom response and change in QoL, anxiety, depression, and fatigue (all P < 0.034). Conclusion: Low-FODMAP diet was associated with improved long-term QoL and GI symptoms, reduced fatigue and anxiety/depression, and increased happiness and vitality. These data support a wider range of benefits for IBS patients consuming a low-FODMAP diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-630
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number4
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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