DIGESTIVE HEALTH

 
 
 

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition affecting the digestive system resulting in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that can get in the way your social and work life in a MAJOR way. The exact cause of IBS is unknown but there are certain factors known to contribute to, or trigger symptoms. These include; stress, infection, a history of disordered eating, changes in routine, food intolerances, and medications.

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Cramping, abdominal pain,

  • Wind, bloating, and gas

  • Constipation and/or diarrhoea

 

Our dietitians:

  • Provide individual, expert dietary advice to help manage the symptoms of IBS.

  • Offer a computerised nutritional analysis to determine the breakdown of food components that may contribute

  • Where appropriate, provide guidance on following a low FODMAP diet followed by a tailored reintroduction or ‘liberalisation’ phase which is a critical step often missed

  • Work together to explore any hidden food intolerances or lifestyle factors which may be contributing (Detective work at it’s best)

  • Assist you to living a life where you can work and play without the fear of being ‘caught out’ in public

COELIAC DISEASE

Coeliac disease (CD) is a condition where the immune system mounts a response to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. This reaction causes damage to the lining of the small intestine and can therefore affect the absorption of nutrients as well as being associated with other long term health outcomes.

 

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhoea

  • Weight loss

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, wind

  • Anaemia

Fortunately, when gluten is removed from the diet the gut has a chance to heal and improve.

 

Our dietitians will:

  • Help you navigate an ever-changing food system to nourish your body on a gluten free diet including practical tips around label reading (the basics)

  • Work with you when life gets in the way of keeping across the gluten free diet, meal planning strategies and resources to reduce anxiety around food choices

  • Heal your relationship with food, recognising that gluten free diets can interfere with this by their restrictive nature

INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

For patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, proper nutritional care can be life-changing and even lifesaving. IBD can make it more challenging to properly break down and take up (absorb) both food and water, putting you at risk of nutritional deficiencies, weight loss and dehydration. Other complications such as blockages (obstructions) may also need to be managed medically.

 

Our dietitians can:

  • Provide support with dietary recommendations such as a low fibre / low residue or modified fibre diet guided by the intuitive eating principle of ‘gentle nutrition’

  • Offer a computerised nutritional analysis to assess whether you are meeting your unique nutritional needs

  • Discuss options for supplementing with vitamins, minerals, fibre, probiotics or prebiotics if appropriate

  • Assist with managing gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence, bloating, nausea, or vomiting

  • Support you post-surgery with achieving adequate nutrition and grading up of diet

  • Work with you to tailor strategies for managing your nutrition when you are not feeling your best self, including support with meal planning, quick and easy options, making the most of your food budget and building a user-friendly pantry

DIVERTICULAR DISEASE / DIVERTICULITIS

One-third of Australians over the age of 45 have diverticular disease, with many unaware that they have the condition. When small pouches develop in the lining of the large bowel they are called diverticula. When these pockets become inflamed or infected, it is known as diverticulitis.

 

Symptoms can include attacks of:

  • Diarrhoea and/or constipation

  • Abdominal pain and bloating

  • Bleeding

 

These symptoms can be mild, lasting a few days or severe requiring hospital admission. 

 

Our dietitians can:

  • Help you manage your symptoms during a flare-up where appropriate with a modified fibre approach

  • Support you to implement dietary and lifestyle strategies to reduce the risk of future flare-ups

REFLUX

Reflux, also known as heartburn, Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) or indigestion are very common with 1 in 5 people experiencing it at some time. It occurs when the ring of muscle at the top of the stomach is weak and acid moves into the oesophagus (food pipe) and throat. This can increase the risk of ulcers, bleeding, scarring, narrowing and potentially, cancer in the long term.

 

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Burning or pain rising from the chest to the neck. 

  • Acidic taste in the mouth, bloating and burping

  • Sinusitis

  • Night-time cough and voice changes

 

Our dietitians can:

  • Work with you to explore any dietary or lifestyle triggers that may be making your reflux worse

  • Help you implement a range of mealtime strategies to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms

CONSTIPATION & DIARRHOEA

Managing constipation and/or diarrhoea can be stressful, frustrating and exhausting and significantly impact your quality of life. Our Dietitians understand these challenges and will work closely with you to find solutions to normalise your bowel habits.

We will do a comprehensive assessment including:

  • Review of medical and family history 

  • Current medications and supplements

  • Levels of physical activity and toileting habits

  • Dietary assessment of your fibre, fat, prebiotic, probiotic and fluid intake

  • Assess for possible food intolerances

 

We may also recommend medical investigations, blood tests and breath tests.

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

Lactose is a type of sugar found naturally in cow’s milk and other dairy products and is broken down by the enzyme lactase. People who don't produce enough lactase in their gut are lactose intolerant. It can also be caused by Coeliac Disease, Crohn’s Disease and after a bout of gastro. 

Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:

  • Stomach pains, bloating and cramping

  • Excess wind and diarrhoea

Our dietitians can:

  • Help you to work out your individual tolerance levels to lactose

  • Provide you with a shopping list and recommendations for lactose friendly brands

  • Work with you to help interpret food labels

  • Provide you with a personalised dietary planner to ensure your calcium and protein requirements are met