What is the Low FODMAP Diet?

By Dietitian Edwina McDonald


Our gut plays an important role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from foods. Food intolerances are becoming increasingly more common. While fructose and lactose are two of the more common intolerances. FODMAPs refer to a group of dietary sugars including; fructose lactose, ploys, fructans and galactans.

So, now knowing that FODMAPs are a group of poorly absorbed sugars, who will actually benefit from following a low FODMAP diet?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 1 in 7 adults. IBS symptoms can include diarrhoea, GI pain/ discomfort, flatlets’, bloating, constipation and generally feeling tired and unwell.  Recent research investigating causes and irritants of IBS has focused on these carbohydrates. The limited research available is showing that the low FODMAP diet does provide an effective approach for the management of patients with functional gut symptoms.

Who malabsorbs FODMAPs? We all malabsorb some FODMAPs to some extent. Most of us however will only notice mild bloating, discomfort and changes to bowel habits if we eat them in excess.

Do we all need to follow a low FODMAP diet? NO, one only needs to trial a low FODMAP diet (under the guidance of a dietitian) if they are hypersensitive to FODMAP containing carbohydrates.

Can I do a test for malabsorption? Currently you can only do a physical hydrogen breath test for fructose, lactose and sorbitol. If you suspect a FODMAP intolerance you should always consult an accredited practising dietitian to assist with the diagnosis.

Do I need to follow a low FODMAP diet forever? NO, a low FODMAP diet is not a long-term diet and should only be trialled for a limited time followed by a review by a dietitian to see which foods and in what quantities can be reintroduced.

The low FODMAP diet can bring relief to those suffering from IBS symptoms. This diet should always be trialled under the supervision of a dietitian who can guide you through the process from elimination, reintroduction and tolerance of these carbohydrates.  



Edwina is a Dietitian at our 120 Collins and Docklands Clinics.

3 Reasons you should get your Injury Assessed ASAP

By Steven Pacini
Whilst avoiding injury in the first place is obviously the gold standard – it is inevitable that at various stages of our lives we will be experiencing a musculoskeletal injury of some form. This could be anything from an acute, traumatic strain or sprain, or one of those “niggles” in the background that we might try to ignore! But when should you get your injury assessed? Well, we definately shouldnt ignore the issue, and ASAP is the correct answer – the main reasons are as follows:
1. Accurate Diagnosis – these days with “Dr Google” we often have patients presenting with injuries that have spent considerable time searching for snippets of information to attempt to categorise or justify their injury. Whilst it is great to do some preliminary research and get a feel for the types of pathology that may be leading to your pain or restriction – remember it is extremely difficult to diagnose an injury without a clinical assessment! And whats worse are the lists of symptoms that one can find through an internet search – that can be interpreted as a condition or injury that may be a lot worse than what you actually have. Accurate diagnosis is made much easier when an injury is assessed sooner rather than later.
2. Faster Recovery – the first question a lot of patients tend to ask us is “how long will my injury take to be fixed?” The sooner you are aware of the cause and nature of an injury, the sooner your physiotherapist can commence a management plan to return you to the activity or performance that you desire. Whilst many injuries require some rest or modification of activity – im many cases you will still be able to do lots of the activities/exercises that you want to do, and whatsmore your physio will want you to!
3. Prevention of Long-Term Issues – even those ‘niggling” injuries that we can sometimes ignore for a little bit lead to the body adapting and functioning differently. Our bodies are amazing at helping out injured areas but longer-term this leads to issues such as adaptive postures, limping or gait changes, or worsening of the painful structure or symptoms.

How to Enjoy your Oxfam Trailwalker Experience

As we farewell to Summer and dive straight into Autumn it means only one thing – that the Oxfam 100km trailwalker is just around the corner, April 7-9th to be exact! The Oxfam trailwalker is one of Melbourne’s iconic bucket list events with team’s of 4 tackling the equally gruelling and scenic path from Wheeler’s Hill to Wesburn Park, to raise money for Oxfam to support people in poverty all around the world.  

While walking 100km in 48 hours may not seem like much, it certainly takes it out of you. Many walkers end up on the on the physiotherapy table or the podiatry chair to get some much needed treatment during the walk. Below are 3 handy tips to ensure you have a truly incredible Oxfam trailwalker experience:

Start training early: If you’re reading this blog and thinking now is a great time to sign up, it’s best to reconsider. Ideally you should start your training about 3-4 months prior to the walk. Start with smaller walks, 8-12 km on the weekend and start building up from there. You want to be hitting between 45-60km walks during your preparation.

Footwear + feet: As with any activity, the proper footwear choice is essential for having a great event. Throughout the walk there are many different surfaces/terrains that you encounter, including footpaths, gravel tracks, muddy roads. Therefore you will need a couple of pairs of shoes to tackle the event. It’s best to get 2 different styles of shoes, ideally a running shoe (for the easier parts of the track) and a trail walking/running shoe for the more arduous areas. Get these shoes at a minimum of 6 weeks before the event to give you time to wear them in and make sure they’re comfortable.

Be proactive, not reactive: Each year, out of the 1000s of walkers who embrace the challenge of the trailwalk approximately 20% do not cross the finish line! That’s 1 in 5 people who have to pull out. Usually this is a result of easily preventable issues such as blistering, foot/leg soreness, fatigue. Use your training walks to assess if you get blistering, hot spots or abnormal pain in your muscles. Prevention is the best cure possible, so if in doubt, get it checked out by our Pinnacle Health Group Podiatry team prior to walk to ensure you get through the walk with flying colours.