Seeking Participants - IBS Sweetener Study


The Monash FODMAP team, 04 June 2024

A little background

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition characterised by abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits. Despite its significant prevalence globally, the tolerability of various sweeteners in IBS patients remains poorly understood. This gap in knowledge makes dietary management challenging for those seeking relief from symptoms. Further research is essential to determine which sweeteners can be safely consumed by IBS sufferers without exacerbating their condition.

What is the purpose of this research?

This randomised study is trying to better understand the tolerability of various sweeteners on gastrointestinal symptoms in IBS patients.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Aged over 18 years old
  • Live in Metro-Melbourne
  • Diagnosed with IBS by a doctor or gastroenterologist with well-controlled symptoms

Who is ineligible for this study?

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Those suffering from other gut disorders e.g. coeliac disease
  • Those with food allergies, severe intolerances, or dietary restrictions
  • Those with psychological illness including eating disorders
  • Those who have part of their bowel surgically removed
  • Smokers

What will my participation involve?

  • Completing a short screening appointment via phone call with the project manager
  • Completing a month-long study with a semi-supplied low FODMAP diet and meal plan
  • Completing a daily paper food diary for 10 days
  • Completing a daily online questionnaire for 10 days
  • Collecting hourly breath samples at home for 5 days

How much time is required?

  • Alongside eating according to the meal plan, patients will require 20 minutes per day of intervention to:
    • Collect hourly breath samples (8am-7pm), done at home and takes ~1 minute per collection
    • Record daily food intake which will take ~5 minutes
    • Complete daily symptom questionnaire which will take ~2 minutes

How can I find out more?

To take our screening survey, click here.

To download the participant information and consent form, click here.

To find out more or express your interest, please email Mostafa Shirzada -

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