Quite commonly I see clients who have spent so many years very intensively adjusting their diets via Google, that their relationship with food and their digestive system is dramatically altered (and not in the good way).
It’s a fair intervention to seek professional support from an accredited practicing dietitian or nutritionist to sort out gut issues based on what you’re feeding it. It’s the dietitians’ specialty to look closely at your diet and gut health, and prescribe some changes or even an elimination diet for the purpose of discovering whether any foods are causing symptoms.
My advice when consulting with a dietitian is to make a commitment to their advice and stick to it! Fluffing around and doing it half-heartedly is only stretching out the process to be long, and trust me, more difficult. And the thing is, you’re the one who loses out when the results aren’t clear because you’ve been sneaking food and telling porkies. Severely restricting your diet is a big ask I know, but the good news is if you stick to it, you will much sooner be clear on those foods that are causing any upset and on the road to reducing symptoms. It’s a win win situation.
Back to Google. I’m a fan of Google, well Safari actually seeing as I’m a Mac fanatic, but the term “I’ll just Safari it” doesn’t have the same ring as “Google it”. The Internet makes more information accessible to us than ever before, including self-diagnosis and diets that are not specific to you. No human body is the same as another. We are so complex and unique and this is why practitioners spend years studying and working to be experts at understanding and helping you.
The issue that I’ve seen come about from endlessly adapting and changing diets without professional consultation, is not quite an eating disorder, but disordered eating. The psychological and emotional connection and relationship with food becomes a fixation because of either a mistrust of which food could be causing symptoms, or a highly imbalanced “control” over and towards food. Your relationship with food is important and if it’s not healthy, your digestive system will respond accordingly with upset and irritability, hence Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and as I see in my clinic, Irritated By Stress.
Some of my sessions involve unpacking the years of damage done by these very behaviours. Your relationship with food, how you treat your body and digestive system, how you respond to symptoms, and your intentions and motivations to stay sick or get well are all entwined. We are complex beings because we carry our entire life history with us everywhere we go. It’s OK to be struggling and confused and fed up with your gut. Life is hard enough. Make things easy for yourself and get along to a trained professional so you can feel healthier sooner than later. My favourite gastrointestinal and dietary specialists are Diet Solutions in Melbourne. With consultations via phone, Skype and in person, there are no excuses!