Monash University

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) are highly prevelant conditions, with IBS alone affecting 10% of the population at some time and 40% over a lifetime.

IBS causes disturbed gut function and intrusive symptoms that impair quality of life. These include:

  • lower abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • excessive wind
  • distension
  • altered bowel habit (diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both)

These symptoms overlap with other serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), coeliac disease, bowel cancer and endometriosis. It is therefore important that these conditions are ruled out first by consulting a medical specialist before any dietary changes are made and that IBS is NOT self - diagnosed.

Traditionally IBS has been blamed on diary, gluten, fatty foods, alcohol and caffeine. However, there is limited evidence to suggest this. More recent conclusive research has focused on a large group of dietary sugars known as FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-sacharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccarides and Polyols).

These sugars can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and can go on to trigger IBS symptoms. There are other triggers such as stress, anxiety and food sensitivities that would also need to be considered.

If you are suffering from IBS and/or symptoms shown above working with a specialist dietitian to help identify which foods or psychological based issues are to blame. This can help improve your quality of life, day to day living and nutritional status.

Jo has worked extensively with clients using the FODMAP program and has also trained with Monash University on the use of a low FODMAP diet for IBS.

Are you interested in being part of a research project on IBS to enhance treatment experience for people with IBS?

If so call Jo TODAY and she can take you through what is involved.

Accredited Nutritionist Accredited Practising Dietitian Credentialled Diabetes Educator Accredited Sports Dietitian