Feeling uncomfortable? Bloated? Abdominal pain? Too many trips to the loo or not enough? What about a gassy or gurgling tummy? You are not alone! Research suggests 10 – 15% of the population experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a condition which we are only beginning to recognise as having a serious impact on our lives. More women than men experience IBS with most people under 50, even children can experience IBS. Researchers are still working on the complicated mechanisms involving the gut, the brain, and the nervous system implicated in IBS as well as best treatment protocols.
Treatment: the first step in treatment of IBS is to find out if your lifestyle is the biggest concern. If you are working really hard, not eating properly, drinking too much, or living on the sofa we will try and change that first so that your daily diet looks like a healthy diet, and your daily life looks better also. If you are still having problems it’s good to look at specific food based interventions such as the impact of fibre, alcohol, caffeine, lactose, fructose, or gluten, and it is my remit, looking at all the information you have provided to consider the best way forward.
Low FODMAPs Diet: recent research from Australia also suggests a low FODMAP diet, when achieved with the support of a dietitian, can be helpful in managing IBS symptoms. This particular diet has been shown to achieve improvement in symptoms in around 70 – 80% of trial participants (no mean feat) so is definitely worth trying, but only if necessary.
Appointment Series for Low FODMAPs Diet: achieved over 3-4 months
- Elimination diet Week 0
- Food challenge Diet Week 4
- Personalising your healthy diet Week 10 – 12
Personalising the Diet: Many people arrive to my clinic having already excluded whole food groups, or have lists of foods they are scared to eat in case they will upset their gut. It’s really important to optimise nutritional intake after following a Low FODMAP plan as research suggests that although the Low FODMAP plan can be healthy, individual nutrients like fibre, can be slightly compromised. I want to ensure that once you have come through the elimination and challenge phases of the diet you have a clear understanding of what you can eat, and what you can’t eat, or can only consume in small amounts. I want you to have a healthy diet for life, feeling confident in your dietary and lifestyle choices.
Aim: the aim of my dietetic intervention is for you to feel you have a clear understanding of what we are both trying to achieve together, to best to manage your symptoms or condition, and that your diet is not nutritionally compromised.