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How a nutritionist can help with your gut health

 If you suffer from the discomfort associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you’re not alone. 

There are different types of IBS: IBS-C is characterized by constipation and difficult bowel movements while IBS-D presents with diarrhea and loose, watery stool. There is also a mixture of these symptoms called IBS-M. You may also experience cramping and abdominal pain, bloating, and gas and flatulence.

However, you do not have to live with these uncomfortable symptoms. Changing your diet can help tremendously!

In fact, there is a diet especially recommended for IBS sufferers called the FODMAP diet.

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that your small intestine has difficulty absorbing. When your gut uses these sugars for energy, hydrogen gas is produced causing your symptoms to flare.

The FODMAP Diet is an eating plan designed by your nutritionist to eliminate potential triggers from your diet. By then slowly reintroducing FODMAP foods, we can determine which ones are causing you trouble. Once we know that, we can formulate an individualized nutrition plan that avoids or eliminates the culprits so you can enjoy what you eat, free of worry!

Some of the most irritating FODMAP foods include beans and lentils; dairy products; vegetables, such as onions, garlic, and asparagus; some fruits; and wheat-based products, like breads and some cereals. These are just a few of the triggers we can evaluate, but there are many more.

The restrictive meal planning of the FODMAP Diet can be difficult to navigate on your own, so many doctors recommend working with a nutritionist for guidance and success. There are also some risks involved that can be mitigated by a professional.

For instance, some people follow the diet for an extended length of time when it is only intended for short-term use. Because certain FODMAP foods are also prebiotic, meaning they feed the good bacteria in your digestive system, eliminating them can lead to an unhealthy balance of bacteria. As a result, continuing the eating plan longer than recommended may actually worsen some symptoms.  

Some of the foods on the FODMAP list are also considered necessary for proper nutrition, such as the antioxidants in apples or the calcium in dairy. It is vital for you to have the guidance of a professional who will recommend alternative sources of nutrition to keep your body healthy during the process.

As a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutritionist, I can alleviate your concerns and support you through the process. I will perform a stool test and test you for food sensitivities and then devise a FODMAP Diet designed specifically for your results. We will work together to determine the ideal length of time for you to follow the eating plan and when to reintroduce certain foods. I will monitor your nutrition and make sure your body is getting everything it needs.

Most importantly, I will be your counselor, champion, and cheerleader. My goal is to relieve your suffering and get you back on the road to health and happiness. Contact me today to schedule your consultation by phone at 828-551-8390 or by email at

diets, fodmap, fodmap diet, integrative nutrition

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