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Improve your Digestion through the Digestive Dominoes Principles

You can think of the stages of our digestion as a set of dominoes, each domino depending on the one before. If the previous step isn’t working right, the next step is going to be affected.

You may have heard about the important role our gut bacteria play in shaping our health and wellbeing. But our gut microbiome depends on the stages of our digestion that go before it. The previous step is the small intestine where we digest and absorb most of our food, but we can also get leaky gut, and SIBO in the small intestine and it can become inflamed. And in turn, the health of our small intestine depends on the health of the stomach and our levels of stomach acid, and the health of our stomach depends on the health and wellness of our mouth and our state of mind. We call this chain of dependencies the ‘Digestive Dominoes’ 

And so simple considerations, such as chewing our food well, and eating in a relaxed state, away from our desk, can improve the health of our whole gut and improve conditions such as digestive discomfort, reflux, food intolerances, and IBS. These are foundational first steps that everyone with gut issues should start with, before looking into a further course of action.

The Stages of the Digestive Dominoes

🥗🍲 When we see and smell an appealing food, or even just think about it, our gut starts to prepare itself for what is to come.

-> Taking a few deep breaths using 4-7-8- breathing before eating can help to shift our nervous system to a relaxed state, directing energy and blood flow towards digestion, and stimulating the release of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

🥓🥑In the mouth, salivary juices are already being released. These juices begin digesting food in the mouth, particularly carbohydrates, and are anti-bacterial which helps prevent bacterial overgrowth further along the gut e.g. SIBO.

-> For optimal digestion we need to chew our food well. A useful image to keep in mind is that the food we swallow should not be recognisable as the original food after chewing.

🍉🍈Our anticipation of a good meal causes the release of stomach acid and pepsin in the stomach. These substances are needed to digest food, particularly proteins, further. This acidic environment is anti-bacterial and so reduces the risk of possible SIBO or bacterial overgrowth.

-> Apple cider vinegar and bitter foods before a meal can encourage the release of stomach acid

🍌🧀The food then travels from the stomach to the small intestine, which food is further digested and nutrients absorbed. Bile is released into the small intestine by the gall bladder. Bile is responsible for digesting fats and escorting toxins our of the body. The pancreas releases digestive enzymes to digest our food further. But food entering the small intestine needs to be acidic in order to trigger the release of these enzymes and bile. If you have low stomach acid, the food arriving in the small intestine may not be acidic enough to trigger the release of these enzymes and bile. This can result in food being inadequately digested, resulting in symptoms like bloating, loose stools, ibs and digestive discomfort.

-> The key here is to focus on the previous steps to ensure you absorb your food well, avoid leaky gut inflammation, and small bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Specific foods, such as apple cider vinegar, beetroot juice, turmeric, or a rocket salad, can be used to support the liver, gall bladder and bile flow.

🥙🌶️By the time the food reaches the colon, it should be almost completely digested. The health of the colon and the gut bacteria depend on all the previous stages. An imbalance in gut bacteria in the colon has been linked to chronic health conditions including skin rashes, joint pain, heart health, liver health, PCOS, and other hormonal issues as well as our mood and energy!

-> Eating a diverse range of unprocessed foods, containing pre and probiotics, polyphenols and fibre supports the gut microbiome.

If you’d like to learn more about the Digestive Dominoes, you may be interested in my 14-day self-paced online course. This is a very practical course where you learn what is going in your own gut through a series of tasks (self-experiments) you can do at home, and then learn what you can do about it.

https://fairfieldnutrition.com.au/how-to-optimise-your-digestive-health-short-course/

What Really Causes Reflux?

What are Reflux and GERD?

Acid reflux is one of the most common digestive disorders in Australia, affecting 10-15% of the population and is increasing in prevalence. The symptoms can range from mild and annoying to severe and include heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, and nausea. Long-term reflux has also been linked to increased rates of oesphageal cancer. It’s definitely something you want to avoid!

Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a more serious form of reflux. As a side note, in Australia, you may find reference to GORD, rather than GERD, due to the different spelling of (o)esophagus, but we will use the GERD abbreviation in this article.

The conventional medical approach to reflux is to treat the symptoms by consuming antacids or taking acid lowering drugs such as PPIs. Unfortunately, not only does this approach fail to adequately address the symptoms, they can make matters worse…

How your Antacid is Making you Sick

Antacids treat the symptoms and discomfort of heart burn without addressing the underlying cause. As soon as you stop taking them, the discomfort returns. There is little money for a pharmaceutical company when they actual cure a disease (no repeat customers!) and some would argue that this leads to the ongoing marketing of short-term solutions and lack of information around the real cause of health issues such as this.

Furthermore, there are consequences of regularly taking antacids and acid stopping drugs:

  • Increased bacterial overgrowth
  • Impaired nutrient absorption
  • Decreased resistance to infection
  • Increased risk of death by chronic disease

When acid blockers and antacids were first introduced to the market, it was recommended that they were used for a maximum of six weeks. Indeed, they can be useful to provide short-term relief but the problem is longer term that can lead to these side effects.

So what can you do?

The good news is reflux and GERD can easily be treated with some simple dietary and lifestyle changes…

A Symptom is Not a Cause: Not Enough Stomach Acid?

But first, I think it’s important to learn a bit more about why acid-reflux develops…

The idea that too much stomach acid causes reflux and GERD is common in the media and the general public. But the scientific literature centers around the theory that GERD is caused by a dysfunction in the spinchter, known as the lower esophageal valve (LES), which separates the stomach from the lower end of the oesophagus.

Normally, the LES only opens when we eat to allow food to pass into our stomach. It doesn’t matter how much acid there is in the stomach; Acid can not rise up through the LES into the oesophagus when it is closed. But if the LES is malfunctioning, either because of a physical defect or because of abdominal pressure (we’ll get on to this), the stomach acid rises back into the sensitive oesophagus and gives the painful symptoms of heart burn.

Acid reflux and the lower esophagal sphincter

Treating gastroesophageal reflux disease with profound acid inhibition will never be ideal because acid secretion is not the primary underlying defect.

http://www.natap.org/2009/HIV/070409_02.htm

What Really Causes Reflux?

The most common causes of acid-reflux are

  • Food intolerances / triggers
  • Excessive gas production
  • Immune system activation

Most often, these three causes are present together and are connected…

Dietary triggers can include alcohol, dairy, gluten, caffeine, processed foods, fructose, FODMAPs (more on this later). The easiest way to find out if foods are triggering your reflux or GERD is to do an elimination diet where you cut out these potential triggers from your diet.

The Paleo diet is a good option as it removes many of the common inflammatory foods. With a diet like this, you should be seeing some benefit in three weeks or so. If you aren’t seeing the improvement you would like, then that’s telling you that you are not getting to the underlying cause…

Excessive gas may be produced by a bacterial overgrowth in the gut. This gas this causes an increase in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) which pushes the contents of the stomach, including stomach acid, into the oesophasgus.

But what could be causing the bacterial overgrowth?

One common cause of bacterial overgrowth is low stomach acid. Aaha! Now we we can see a mechanism by which low stomach acid may be contributing to acid-reflux…

At a PH of 3, bacteria in the stomach can only survive for 15 minutes but at a PH of 5, bacteria begin to thrive. And a trial has been conducted which confirmed just this effect. 30 people with GERD were treated with a high dose of Prilosec (40g/day), a PPI that reduces stomach acid, for at least 3 months. 11 of the 30 Prilosec-treated people developed significant bacterial overgrowth, compared with only one of the ten people in the control group.

Now, we know that bacterial overgrowth is also associated with immune system activation as the immune system is activated, including a histamine response, to deal with the threat of a bacterial overgrowth.

The Low-FODMAP diet and probiotics are known to reduce immune system activation and histamine. So if bacterial overgrowth and immune system activation are at the core of reflux for some people, it makes sense that a Low-FODMAP diet and probiotics will be helpful.

Reducing Reflux and GERD in Three Simple Steps

Once food intolerances and physical defects of the LES are ruled out, heart burn and GERD are likely caused by bacterial overgrowth and too little stomach acid. If someone is overweight, working to reduce weight can also be helpful.

So our goal is now to reduce the bacterial overgrowth and increase the acid. This can be done in three steps (and is a similar approach used to regain gut health for reasons other than reflux):

  1. Reduce the bacterial overgrowth and causes of low stomach acid.
  2. Replace the missing stomach acid
  3. Repair the gut mucosal lining, gut immune system and re balance the gut bacteria.

To Reduce the bacterial overgrowth, a low carbohydrate Low-FODMAP diet, together with probiotics is effective. A combination of probiotics, namely Sacchromyces Boulardi, a Lactobacillus / Bifidobacterium blend, and soil based probiotics are likely to be effective for this purpose. You may find the most benefit when combining these three different types. A low-histamine diet can also be trialed.

Replacing stomach acid usually means taking a supplement containing HCL with pepsin or another acid stable protease. Pepsin in the acidic environment of the stomach breaks down protein so that we can absorb it into our bodies. If the stomach is not producing enough HCL, it is likely not producing enough pepsin and so both should be supplemented together.

For sensitive people that feel warmth in their stomach from 1 capsule of HCL, apple cider vinegar before meals is an option. A program to support the gastric lining for 6-8 weeks may be necessary (speak to me about this).

After a period of supplementing HCL, many people find that they are then able to reduce their dose..

Note, HCL should never be taken by anyone is using any type of anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. Ibuprofen or other NSAID) or corticosteroids (e.g. predisone). These medications can damage the gut lining and the supplementary HCL could aggravate this, causing bleeding or an ulcer.

Once we have reduced any bacterial overgrowth and any possible drivers of low stomach acid, and then replaced the low acid, we still need to repair the gut.

Repairing the gut means reducing the increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) which may be present, supporting the gut immune system and re-balancing the gut bacteria. A re-balanced gut microbiome should support gut barrier function, decrease inflammation and balance the immune system and not produce the excess gas associated with additional pressure and reflux.

We can make use of probiotics and nutra-ceuticals to support the intestinal immune system and provide the building blocks needed for the gut to repair itself. Particular foods such as fermented foods, bone broth and soluble fibres can be helpful. Soluble fibres are prebiotics which act as fuel for the good bacteria in our gut. You can read more about repairing the gut in this article.


If you have any questions, I’m always happy to help so please get in touch. To know more about how you can work with me, you can find out more here.


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FREE 30 INTRODUCTORY CONSULTATIONS NOW AVAILABLE – BOOK HERE

Stephen Ward (MSc) is trained in assessing the root cause of chronic health issues through Functional Medicine.

He uses nutrition, lifestyle changes, and nutraceuticals (targeted supplements) to help you achieve your goals and improve your health.


How good is your first line of defense?

I’m talking about the importance of stomach acid! This article will let you know why you should care and I’ll also give you an easy test you can do at home to give you an idea of your stomach acid levels, so read on…

Stomach acid, otherwise known as hydrochloric acid (HCl), plays a pivotal role in the breakdown of food, a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut, and the prevention of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and so the prevention and treatment of IBS. As it’s becoming widely accepted that a healthy body depends on a healthy gut, this is important stuff for your health.

Many people with reflux also actually have low stomach acid, rather than too much. You can read more about that here.

When we eat food, digestion begins in the mouth through the process of mastication (chewing to you and me) and the release of enzymes, such as salivary amylase which starts the digestion of carbohydrates. Chewing our food sets the digestive process off to a good start!

Food is further broken down in the stomach by HCl (PH 1.0 to 2.5) and more enzymes. This kills harmful microorganisms and helps create favourable conditions for enzymes such as pepsin which helps to break down protein.

Stomach acid

HCl also makes nutrients such as Vitamin B12, Calcium, Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium available from our food..

If the stomach is too alkaline, the system of the digestive tract does not work well and you end up with up complications further along the tract such as SIBO.

Also, it is often a lack of acid in the stomach, not an excess, that causes reflux as food is not being properly digested and is causing acid to flare up into the esophagus.

But the amount of acid produced is also affected by the amount and type of food you are eating, and also how you are feeling!

Pause for a second, and let that sink in …

If you are stressed and eating on the go, your body is likely to be producing less HCl and your digestion just isn’t going to be great, whatever you are eating. A good tip is to take three, deep mindful breaths whenever you sit down to eat, and to eat away from electronic devices or your office desk.

How to Test for Stomach Acid Levels at Home for Free
Now, I’ll show you the simple test you can do from your home with just bicarbonate of soda and water, to give you an indicator of your HCl levels (remember this is just a guide!).If you are taking NSAIDs, Corticosteroids, or have other concerns, please speak to your GP first.

  1. First thing in the morning drink (in one go) a mixture of 1/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda mixed in 150ml of room temperature water
  2. Set a timer and measure how long before you belch
  3. Repeat for several mornings to check the results

Ignoring tiny little burps, the test tends to show the earlier you burp, the more stomach acid you have

  • 0-2 Minutes: You have plenty (& possibly, though rarely, too much) HCl
  • 2-3 Minutes: You have about the right amount of HCl
  • 4 Minutes upwards: This may suggest you have low HCl

Other signs of low stomach acid include noticing undigested food in your stool, or feeling overly full after eating a protein rich meal (like it sits in your stomach).

What Next?
If you suspect you have low HCl, you can encourage its production by mixing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, or some lemon in about 200mls of water before you eat.

Eating bitter food or drink may also help digestive secretions and prompt HCl production. Bitters include a bitter tonic such as the traditional Swedish bitters, and foods such as rocket, chicory, dandelion (including tea), radicchio, endive, and artichoke.  HCl + pepsin is also available as a supplement if required.  

And if you unlucky enough to already have an ongoing gut issue such as digestive discomfort, IBS, IBD, bloating, leaky gut, or just want to improve your gut health, drop me a message and I’ll see what I can do to help…


Stephen Ward (MSc) is trained in assessing the root cause of your health issues and together, we can work this out. 

Call 0491611043 or BOOK ONLINE.

Alternatively, send me a message and I’ll get back to you ..

Fed up with digestive discomfort? Four steps to gut health

You don’t just have to put up with digestive discomfort, acid reflux or GERD, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or food sensitivities. Using a Functional Medicine approach, which looks at the root causes of any health issue, it is possible to find the root causes of a gut complaint. Once you know the root causes driver your condition, you can follow a step by step approach to heal your gut. In this article, I’ll explore what that process might look like.

Basically, there are four logical steps to regaining gut health: Remove, Repair, Reseed, and Rebalance. It is possible to do this on your own, and Dr. Ruscio offers a good protocol in his book. However, I would suggest working with a Functional Medicine practitioner such as myself, to provide personalised guidance and support which can be invaluable during this process.

1) Remove

In the Remove phase, we identify and then remove triggers of intestinal inflammation and digestive discomfort.

Candida, a bacterial or protozoa overgrowth, SIBO, Helicopter Pylori, and viruses can all drive gut conditions. These are often associated with an overly reactive intestinal immune system which can, in turn, drive inflammation throughout the body through a permeable intestinal barrier (leaky gut).

A stool test that can be done from the comfort of your home can test for these pathogens. I recommend the GI Map test or the GI 360 test in Australia. These tests analyse the DNA of the microbes in your stool and are therefore very precise. They also include markers for leaky gut, digestive enzymes, secretory IGA, gut inflammation, and short-chain fatty acids, making them very complete tests. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) testing may also be appropriate depending on your symptoms (bloating with 90 mins of eating is a tale-tale sign).

When working with a practitioner, lab testing isn’t always necessary or within budget. In which case, the approach is based can be based on clinical symptoms, history, and treatment response.

If parasites are found or are likely, then there are a number of options including herbal anti-microbials, specific probiotics, and antibiotics. I work with the first two options but you always have the option of talking to your GP about the antibiotic option.

Particular foods can also be a stressor for some people. This can include trigger foods such as gluten, dairy, added sugar, oxalates, or histamine containing foods. When I work with someone, I always start by looking at their diet, identifying potential trigger foods and looking at the impact of high FODMAP foods. Ensuring enough digestive enzymes and stomach acid production is also vital to digesting our food properly. Food sensitivity testing is an option.

I find the Low FODMAP diet helps many people with IBS. The first phase of the diet removes all high FODMAP foods which may be causing your gut symptoms. After three to six weeks, we systematically re-introduce these foods. This allows us to identify your personal trigger foods that can then be avoided whilst maintain as diverse a diet as possible.

2) Repair

When there’s inflammation in the gut, you can also expect there to be increased intestinal permeability, commonly known as Leaky Gut. A leaky gut allows toxins, larger food molecules, unwanted bacteria, and viruses to enter the bloodstream. Lining the gut, we have the mucosal system which protects us from these threats. 

When foreign substances pass through the gut barrier, the immune system launches an inflammatory response to defend us from these invaders. The associated intestinal inflammation has been linked to a diverse range of symptoms such as food sensitivities, fatigue, brain fog, nutrient malabsorption, and has been linked to diseases in remote organs in the body e.g. kidney, lungs, liver. 

Calming the intestinal immune system, and repair the gut lining is therefore an essential step in regaining gut health.

To heal a leaky gut, you also need to consider your lifestyle such as stress levels, making time for yourself, and getting enough sleep. Getting the nutrients you need to support the immune system lining our gut, as well as repairing the gut wall are important. Foods, which contain these nutrients include bone broth, stewed apples, as well as polyphenol-rich foods such as blueberries, blackberries, purple sweet potatoes, purple carrots. The choice of supplements varies from person to person but could include such as Colostrum, L_Glutamine, and Zinc, probiotics such as Sacchromyces Boulardi or Lactobacillus GG. 

3) Reseed

This phase is all about encouraging a diverse range of ‘good’ gut bacteria. This is vital as, without it, your gut issues are likely to return. Time needs to be spent fixing your gut microbiome. It’s a necessity for ongoing gut health!

We can reseed our guts through probiotics, fermented foods, and also soluble fibres known as prebiotics. Our gut bugs love fiber-rich veggies and whole grains such as flaxseed, chia seed, buckwheat, and other non-gluten containing grains.

By this stage, you should be able to handle more prebiotics than you could in stage 1. Healthy high FODMAP foods and resistant starches can be introduced to feed your ‘good’ gut bacteria. Remember high FODMAP foods are often healthy foods and we are working towards being able to tolerate them.

For probiotics, there a number of options including a Lactobacillus / Bifidobacterium blend, Saccharomyces Boulardii, and soil-based probiotics. Different people can find different types of probiotics effective, and I urge you to experiment with a different type if you are not responding to a particular one. For instance, if you are not responding to a Lactobacillus / Bifidobacterium blend after a 4-6 week trial, then try a soil-based probiotic. When trialing a probiotic like this, you are looking for a reduction in your personal symptoms and noticing how it makes you feel. People often find a combination of these probiotic types can be effective.

Saccharomyces Boulardii and Lactobacillus GG have also been found to combat Candida, Blastocystis Hominis and pathogenic bacterial overgrowth.

4) Rebalance

This final stage is focussed on preserving the gains from the previous stages into the future so that your gut stays resilient and tolerates a wide range of foods. Here, we pay particular attention to lifestyle choices such as sleep, exercise, and stress.

Of particular interest is that when we eat, as well as what we eat. Nowadays, we tend to eat all day (16 hours) and fast for just 8 hours overnight. It’s during this fasting period that the gut lining repairs itself and the body clears out unprocessed foods and bacteria from the small intestine. This helps prevent small bacteria overgrowth or SIBO through a process known as the ‘migrating motor complex’.

Spending longer periods without food, say 12 or even 16 hours overnight, and reducing snacking, may help your gut health, improve your overall health and prevent chronic diseases.

Everyone is different

These four steps provide a framework for regaining gut health. But that doesn’t mean that the steps look exactly the same for everyone. A  practitioner can help you identify the root causes of your health issues, identify appropriate lab testing, diet, and supplements, and provides the expertise to filter the scientific research to help you improve your gut health.


If you have any questions, I’m always happy to help so please get in touch. To know more about how you can work with me, you can find out more here.


Stephen Ward Headshot Image

FREE 30 INTRODUCTORY CONSULTATIONS NOW AVAILABLE – BOOK HERE

Stephen Ward (MSc) is trained in assessing the root cause of chronic health issues through Functional Medicine.

He uses nutrition, lifestyle changes, and nutraceuticals (targeted supplements) to help you achieve your goals and improve your health.

 


 

How to use the Low FODMAP diet to heal your gut

The Low FODMAP diet is now commonly recommended to ease a range of digestive symptoms associated with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It works by removing foods that commonly cause digestive discomfort from the diet, allowing the gut to heal. Foods are then re-introduced systematically so that trigger foods can be identified. It may be used as part of a gut healing protocol.

FODMAP is an acronym for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Polyols

Eek! So what is that in plain English? These are types of sugar that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and are fermented by bacteria to produce gas. They can cause IBS type symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea in some people.


Can a low FODMAP diet help you?

Recent research found up to 86 percent of people with IBS saw improvements in their symptoms while on a low FODMAP diet. It has also been found to decrease inflammation, as measured by histamine in the gut, which may reduce neurological symptoms such as brain fog which may be associated with IBS.

A Low FODMAP diet can help you to isolate the types of foods that are causing your symptoms. Once your GP has examined you for other conditions, such as coeliac disease, this diet can help you get back to basics – I commonly recommend this diet as a first step when working with gut issues. It has not only been shown to help many people with IBS, but may also be helpful for other gut conditions such as coeliac disease, Crohn’s and Colitis. It is recommended that you consult with a health care consultant, dietician or Nutritional Therapist, such as myself, before embarking on a low-FODMAP diet.

FODMAPs can feed bacteria in the small intestine, which should only contain a small number of bacteria compared to the colon. This can lead to Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Whereas in someone with a healthy gut, these sugars will pass through the small intestine until they get to the colon where they will act as a food source for beneficial bacteria that live there.

What is the low FODMAP diet?

The low-FODMAP diet helps you identify the foods that are causing your symptoms – this varies from person to person. You start by removing foods that are high in FODMAPs for 2-4 weeks or until symptoms ease.

There are many foods that are restricted but you have to remember why you are doing this – The long-term benefits far outweigh the difficulty of eliminating these foods for this period. Remember, everyone reacts to these foods differently so the Low-FODMAP diet allows you to find out which foods are problematic for you.

As a qualified Nutritional Therapist, I can guide you through this process, help you with tasty and tolerable alternatives to high FODMAP foods, and guide you through the re-introduction phase and help you to identify other causes of your gut issues

The main sources of FODMPs include (there are other high FODMAP foods not on this list):

Oligosaccharides: Wheat products, vegetables such as onions and garlic, all beans and pulses including chickpeas, lentils and soybean, and inulins added to foods such as certain yoghurts, protein bars, and milks.

Disaccharides: The main one is Lactose and many people are Lactose intolerant. Lactose is not the same as dairy: Cream, hard cheeses and butter contain a limited amount of lactose. Most people with malabsorption can handle 4g of Lactose before they encounter issues, and so a thin spread of butter or a dash of milk may be OK, but a Latte may not.

Monosaccharides: These are simple sugars with excess fructose being the main one. Examples of foods containing an excess of fructose include fruit juices, apples, cherries, watermelon, peaches, plums, nectarines, mango

Polyols: Mushrooms, fruits such as apricots, chewing gum, and added sugar alcohols 

How does the low-FODMAP diet work?

Phase 1 – FODMAP Restriction

Phase 1 is a strict restriction of all high FODMAP foods for two to four weeks, or until symptoms settle. The low-FODMAP diet originated out of research by Monash University and they have developed an app which can be used to know the FODMAP content of various foods. It has proven invaluable to many people.

Keeping track of how particular foods affect you is also recommended. That way, you can more clearly see patterns between what you eat and how you feel.

Phase 2 – FODMAP Reintroduction

During this phase, you methodically re-introduce foods that were restricted in Phase 1. Foods are re-introduced one-by-one and in a specific order. The idea is that at the end of this process you will have a better understanding of which foods trigger your symptoms, and you can continue to eat the ones, you do not react to. This process will take several weeks or months, and I suggest you work through this process with a Nutritionist, such as myself, or a dietitian.

Is this the perfect diet?

The Low-FODMAP diet can be a life saver for many people and can transform some people’s quality of life and well being within days…

But like anything, there is a downside. When you do a restrictive diet like this, you run the risk of cutting out many nutrient-rich foods and good sources of fibre –  fibre is fuel for the beneficial bacteria in our colon, and is an important part of a healthy diet.

For this reason, and contrary to the belief of many people, eliminating all high FODMAP foods is not a healthful solution. Identifying the particular FODMAPs that trigger your symptoms allows you to include as many healthy high FODMAP foods in your diet as possible. 

What next?

You can, of course, do the low-FODMAP diet and re-introduction on your own, but many people prefer to work with a Nutritionist such as myself to help them identify what they can eat (that’s tasty too!), what they are reacting to, and to guide them through the re-introduction phase. We even have a coaching app for your phone so that I can support you through this process.  

Also, as the diet doesn’t necessarily help you find the root cause of your IBS, a practitioner can help you with testing for a bacterial or fungal overgrowth that may be causing your issues and work with you on other causes of your health issues.

If you’d like to talk me to about the low-FODMAP diet, or your options for working with IBS or other health conditions, please contact me with any questions or give me a call.

Understanding the underlying causes of digestive discomfort and IBS

Understand the common root causes of digestive discomfort and IBS and what you can do..