Digestive health is an essential component of wellness. Our nutrition specialists can help you manage your digestive symptoms and achieve optimal comfort.
Around five million people in Canada suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Though there is no known cause for IBS, many things contribute to the symptoms.
If you have IBS symptoms, you are not alone. Finding a registered dietitian or nutritionist can help get you on the path to healing. Discover how nutrition counselling can relieve symptoms of IBS.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the intestines that causes discomfort. There is no one cause of IBS but many things that may contribute to the disorder. These can be food sensitivities, infection, or genetics.
Stress and eating certain foods can also cause symptoms to appear. Some symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
The Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAPs are a group of short-chain carbs that cannot be absorbed properly in the gut. This grouping of food causes symptoms in people with IBS. FODMAP stands for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
The idea behind the Low FODMAP diet for treating IBS is to limit the consumption of these carbohydrates. Certain people need to avoid foods that are in one or multiple FODMAP groups. Some common high FODMAP foods that can trigger digestive symptoms are wheat, dairy, several fruits and vegetables and some artificial sweeteners.
How Can a Registered Dietitian Help?
Though there are steps you can take on your own to ease symptoms of IBS, it is best to work with a trained dietitian or nutritionist. They will provide nutrition counselling and help you maintain an IBS-friendly diet. Having an IBS support system will go a long way in IBS management.
Having a registered dietitian to help you along the way will keep you on track. They can help you find ingredient substitutions and food substitutions for those that you should avoid. They will also teach you how to read nutrition labels to look for FODMAPS in the food you buy.
Dietitians also can help you find restaurant options that work with your needs. You will get tips for eating while travelling as well as access to low FODMAP recipes created by nutrition experts.
When you first meet with your nutritionist, you will go over your symptoms and triggers. They will also want to make sure you are up to date on blood tests to rule any other problems out. During this meeting, you will lay the groundwork for treating your IBS symptoms.
You can go over your symptoms and triggers with the help of a Symptom Journal or a smart food diary app. You will write down your physical symptoms such as bowel movements, but also information related to your emotions and how the symptoms affect your quality of life.
Personalized Nutrition Plan
Once your registered dietitian has gathered all the information, you can determine a plan together. This plan will consist of a personalized eating plan and elimination diet that helps you avoid foods that may trigger your IBS symptoms. They will also provide you with eating strategies that can help with your symptoms.
Depending on each person, your dietitian will help you make other changes before or during the Low FODMAP diet such as:
optimizing your meal schedule
monitoring portion sizes
reducing distractions while eating
practising physical activity
increasing soluble fibre intake
cognitive behavioural therapy.
Your healthcare professional will guide you to follow the three steps in the Low FODMAP diet. With help, you will first cut foods with fermentable carbs in them. Then, you will reintroduce these foods back into your diet to see which are causing the symptoms.
Once you understand which foods cause IBS flare-ups, you can maintain a long-term diet without those foods. Your dietitian will work with you regularly to make sure the diet is still working for you and your digestive system.
Simple dietary changes can ease the symptoms of IBS. Your registered dietitian or nutritionist will work with you regularly to make sure the program is working for you. They will also be able to help you make changes along the way if your needs change.
Not everyone needs to go on a full on Low FODMAP diet to manage IBS symptoms. Some people can manage their symptoms with healthy lifestyle changes. You may also adopt a light version of the Low FODMAP diet. Your nutrition expert will make sure that the plan is appropriate to you.
Choose Nutrition Counselling for Your IBS Symptoms
Having a registered dietitian or nutritionist for IBS can help you treat your symptoms. They have the knowledge to help you cut foods that are not serving your body. They can provide you with treatment and tips that you may not find elsewhere.
If you're looking for support for managing your digestive symptoms and improving your gut health, our team of registered dietitians and nutritionists can help. Contact us today to schedule a nutritional consultation in person at an office near you or remotely. Our nutrition counselling services are covered by most private health insurance companies.