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IBS & Low FODMAP Glossary

IBS & Low FODMAP Glossary

If you have been suffering with IBS, or looked at the Low FODMAP Diet, the chances are you have come across lots of medical and technical jargon that probably makes very little sense! So we have put together this IBS & Low FODMAP Glossary, to make sense of all these crazy words and acronyms! Hopefully we cover most of them, but please email us if there’s others you are confused about!



The bowel is a part of the digestive system or gut, made up of the small bowel (small intestine) and the large bowel (colon and rectum).


CBT = Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. A talking therapy that has been shown to have a positive effect on IBS symptoms.


Occurring over a long period of time


Fewer than three bowel movements (poos) in a week. Stools are hard, dry, and small and can be painful and difficult to pass.


Unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements (poos). 


The process through which sugars are broken down by gut bacteria to produce gas.


FODMAP = Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides & Polyols (these are explained under Oligosaccharides). Learn more about FODMAPs here!

Functional Bowel Disorder

Another way of describing IBS.  It describes gut symptoms which result from a change in the way the gut functions.


The long muscular tube which stretches from mouth to bottom, which food and fluid move through. Your gut is responsible for digesting and absorbing food and drink.

Gut Motility

The movement of the gut. About one third of people with IBS have altered gut motility – either faster or slower than normal. 


IBS = Irritable Bowel Syndrome – a common gut condition which affects how the gut moves and functions causing symptoms.


The long muscular tubes through which food travels after it leaves the stomach allowing it to be absorbed.

Oligosaccharides / Disaccharides/ Monosaccharides & Polyols

Scientific names for groups of short-chain sugars found in a wide variety of foods.


A group of symptoms.

Written by Registered Dietician Laura Tilt @nutritilty, on behalf of Bay’s Kitchen.

Copyright Bay’s Kitchen. Please do not reprint without permission.

Written by

Registered Dietitian

Laura Tilt

Laura Tilt is a UK Registered Dietitian, Health Writer and Brand Consultant. She is FODMAP trained and has specialist experience in IBS, gut health and weight management.

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