DIGESTIVE HEALTH

 
 
 
 

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition affecting the digestive system that may result in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that can impact your social and work life. The exact cause of IBS is unknown but there are environmental factors such as emotional stress, infection, diet, changes in routine, food intolerances, and medications that can trigger symptoms. 

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Cramping, abdominal pain,

  • Wind, bloating, and gas

  • Constipation and/or diarrhoea

Our Dietitians can provide individual, expert dietary advice to help manage the symptoms of IBS, this may include starting on a low FODMAP diet, and undergoing a computerised nutritional analysis to determine the amount of fibre you eat and its sources. 

COELIAC DISEASE

Coeliac disease (CD) is a condition where the immune system reacts abnormally to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. This reaction to gluten causes damage to the lining of the small intestine which prevents absorpotion of food nutrients.

 

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhoea

  • Weight loss

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, wind

  • Anaemia

Fortunately, a person with Coeliac disease can avoid gluten which means that the body stops damaging the small intestine, allowing it to heal and symptoms to improve.  Choosing the right foods and making sure that your diet is well-balanced can be difficult. A Dietitian can help you to maintain a gluten free diet, teach you which foods contain gluten, and how to identify read a food label to identify gluten. 

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 deficiencies, weight loss and dehydration. Other complications such as blockages (obstructions) may also need to be managed.

 

A dietitian can:

  • Provide support with dietary recommendations such as a low fibre / low residue or modified fibre diet.

  • Ensure you’re 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 adequate nutrition and grading up of diet

  • Provide strategies for managing your nutrition when your health declines 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 the diverticular disease with many people unaware they have it. When small pouches develop in the lining of the large bowel. it is called diverticular disease. 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 have extensive experience in managing your symptoms during a flare-up as well as personalising a meal plan to help minimise future flare-ups. For evidence-based dietary advice, make an appointment with one of our Dietitians.

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

  • Nighttime cough and voice changes

 

Our Dietitians will assess your diet to identify any triggers that may be making your reflux worse and teach you a range of helpful 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 will help you work out your level of lactose tolerance and:

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

  • Educate you on label reading

  • Provide you with a personalised meal plan to ensure your calcium and protein requirements are met