Why Work with a Dietitian/Herbalist

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 As a Dietitian and Herbalist I see a number of clients in my practice with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive concerns. Most often, a person has been struggling for a long time, has had many tests and has already received a diagnosis of IBS.   

In order to serve my clients better I studied with Monash University in Melbourne, Australia to become a FODMAPs certified Dietitian. The team at Monash, led by Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson, is leading the way in digestive wellness, pioneering a new, evidence based approach that supports what we have known for a very long time – that the food we eat really matters to our gut health and to our general health and well-being.  Their pioneering approach is known as the low FODMAP diet.

Why work with a Dietitian/Herbalist with expertise in the low FODMAP diet? 

  • The short answer is that it helps make a fairly complex process easier, more manageable and less frustrating.

  • Teamwork leads to more successful outcomes.

  • A Dietitian is there for you during each step of your discovery and recovery journey, to answer questions and offer unwavering support.

  • You have a second person with the same goals for your digestive wellness.

  • In the end, not all FODMAP foods will need to be removed from your diet and not every day. During the rechallenge phase, a Dietitian can help identify only those foods that need to be removed, ensuring that your diet is as broad as can be tolerated and is not unnecessarily restricted.

  • Removing certain foods and food groups from your diet can potentially lead to nutritional gaps. A Dietitian can help identify any potential nutritional gaps so that you move forward into the maintenance phase enjoying optimal health and nutrition.

    The removal of some FODMAP foods can cause unfavourable changes in the gut microbiome (the bugs that live in your gut). A Dietitian works with you to ensure adequate intake of alternative fibre sources to optimize gut health and the gut microbiome. See my article Gut Feelings to read more about gut health.

  • A Dietitian can walk you through the FODMAPs app and provide helpful resources. The app is a very useful tool as you are adapting to the diet.

  • The low FODMAP diet controls symptoms and provides welcome relief to most people. Herbal medicines can provide an additional level of support.

  • Herbal infusions or tinctures can be customised to meet your specific digestive needs. Herbs such as peppermint, fennel, chamomile, lemon balm, ginger, cinnamon, dandelion root, and St. John’s wort, are just some of the herbs that are indicated for relief of symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome.

Jill Burns