learning about IBS

What I learnt this week

The most rewarding aspect of working as a Dietitian in the area of IBS is hearing the stories of those who take the leap of faith, trial a low FODMAP diet, and are rewarded with incredible improvements in their quality of life. My clients teach me more than I could ever impart to them, and for that I am humbled and thankful. Here are just a few of the fascinating things I learned this week:

Does English beer prevent constipation?

One of my clients, who is English and therefore is very experienced in drinking beer “from the tap”, assures me that he never suffers from his normally debilitating constipation when he goes home to England and drinks “tap” beers at the pub. I know this is only a study of one person but I plan to investigate and get back to you.

Does lowering FODMAPS help kids with gut and sensory issues?

The parents of most children who I consult with for abdominal pain, constipation and sensory issues related to food have trialled dietary approaches such as the GAPS diet or a gluten-free, casein-free diet or a low chemical/additive diet. For those children with hypersensitive guts, avoiding wheat (to avoid gluten) and avoiding dairy (to avoid casein) might actually be helping to reduce gut sensitivity by lowering the child’s intake of fructans and lactose. I will investigate this more over coming weeks with families I am working with and in the literature about this emerging dietary approach to managing gut hypersensitivity for children.

Does chronic pain reduction reduce IBS symptoms?

Another client who I consulted this week underwent major surgery recently and reported to me that her pain is now much reduced compared to before surgery.  She also suffered with IBS, which she had been managing using a FODMAP approach. As she is currently reliant on others to prepare meals so she has not been able to follow her FODMAP plan, but has found that she has not had gut problems. We both wondered if the reduction her inflammatory response and pain has calmed down the gut-brain nerve firing to the point where her IBS is not as problematic. I will do some more research on chronic pain and IBS to find out.

Thanks to those clients who teach me so much, and if you have any dietary questions related to IBS, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Blogged by Kerith Duncanson – March 2016

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