Is your gut bothering you? Are you living with symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, excessive wind, constipation and/or diarrhoea? Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and aren’t sure how to manage it. We understand and are here to help you with your gut health.
How exactly can we help? Read on to find out.
IBS and gut health experts
We really are the Perth IBS and gut health experts.
By using scientifically based investigative techniques developed over many years of practice, we can help you to identify the cause of your gut issues.
The strategies we use are evidence-based and can be as simple as modifying fibre and fluid intake and promoting good gut flora (bacteria), to more complex approaches involving FODMAP or natural food chemical elimination diets – these strategies are just some of the ways we can guide you toward a life free of bowel discomfort.
Our expertise doesn’t stop there either. We can even assist people living with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and coeliac disease.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols – sound like gobbledygook? Put simply, FODMAPs are short-chain sugars that are poorly absorbed. They can draw water into the small bowel triggering diarrhoea and when they reach the large bowel, they are fermented by bacteria resulting in gas production which can lead to bloating, abdominal discomfort and constipation.
Clinical trials at Monash University in Melbourne have shown that the low FODMAP diet can significantly reduce IBS symptoms. What many don’t realise though, is that following a low FODMAP diet for too long can adversely affect your gut flora, so it’s important to work on reintroducing high FODMAP foods at some point.
Contact us if you want to do the low FODMAP trial safely and properly.
What are natural food chemicals?
There are literally hundreds of chemicals naturally present in the foods we eat, but those that have the potential to induce IBS symptoms are salicylates, amines and glutamates. A build-up of these food chemicals can also trigger not only gut issues but symptoms such as ADHD, migraines, eczema, hives, fibromyalgia, sinus congestion, chronic fatigue… the list goes on!
The dietitians and allergy specialists at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) in Sydney have been researching the association between natural food chemicals and symptoms such as IBS for many decades now and have developed guidelines for an elimination diet that can be used to diagnose a food chemical intolerance. If the diagnostic diet identifies an intolerance, the next step is to challenge individual food chemicals.
Sounds like quite a process, huh? It is, so working with a qualified dietitian is key!
What is gut bacteria?
Gut flora, as we mentioned before, is bacteria established in the gut at one to two years after birth.
What you may not know, is that the gut microbiota has the largest number of bacteria and the greatest number of species compared to other areas of the body – approximately 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria containing nearly 2 million genes!
Why is gut bacteria so important?
The relationship between some gut flora and humans isn’t generally harmful, but rather a mutualistic relationship. Yep! They help digest food and affect everything from your metabolism to your mood, to your immune system, playing a vital role in your well-being.
However, there are bad bacteria and good bacteria, the composition of human gut microbiota changes over time, when the diet changes, and as overall health changes. How you eat, drink, live and look after yourself can affect all this and mean the difference between a happy gut and an unhealthy gut.
Here are just some of the things that gut bacteria can impact your body:
Gut bacteria can determine the amount of energy our body extracts from food, and some literature suggests that gut bacteria can influence what we eat and how much we eat.
Immunity and allergies
Did you know that the majority of our immune system is located in the gut? The bacteria in our gut plays an important role in our immune system, so a healthy population of bacteria can reduce our risk of illness. It can also affect the risk of autoimmune diseases caused by an ‘overactive gut’.
Gut bacteria also produce hormones, which can have an effect on our brain. Some research suggests that our gut health plays a role in depression and Alzheimer’s dementia. Bacteria may have the capacity to manipulate our moods; releasing toxins to make us feel bad and reward chemicals to make us feel good.
How do you fix your gut?
How you fix your gut health, will depend on what your individual gut issue is, and only an expert will be able to help you ascertain what that is. An expert such as a professional and highly experienced Dietitian.
Contact us at Inspiring Nutrition in Mandurah and Perth today and book an appointment with one of our experienced dietitians and gut health experts, to help you build a healthy gut.