Gut health

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What is a gut health dietician?

A gut health dietician is an expert in the best nutrition for healthy digestion. A gut nutritionist understands the gut microbiome, “good” gut bacteria, and “bad” gut bacteria. This nutrition professional will be able to create a meal plan for you that optimizes nutrition and limits uncomfortable digestive symptoms.

What can a gut health  dietician do for me?

A gut health dietician can help you identify the cause or causes of any issues with your digestive system. Not all digestive problems can be linked to food intolerances or allergies. While some people have digestive issues because of celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or intolerances to certain foods, other factors such as elevated stress levels can also wreak havoc on your digestion. A gut dietician has the educational background to help you identify and solve the causes of your digestive issues, and they have the knowledge to recommend nutrient-rich foods that promote healthy bacteria. They can also make recommendations about stress management.

What to expect in an appointment with a gut health dietician

Improved digestion and gut health

First and foremost, working with a gut nutritionist will improve your digestion. It may not happen overnight, but a gut health nutritionist will give you the tools you need to heal your gut. A gut health nutritionist will create a personalized nutrition plan filled with specific foods that can make a massive difference to your digestion. Some of these foods may contain natural probiotics to balance the gut microbiota in the digestive tract.

A gut nutritionist will strive to ensure you have balance in the foods you eat. They will do this by including fruits, vegetables, and high-quality fiber in your diet and limiting the processed foods you eat. Your gut health specialist can also recommend foods to decrease harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, leading to symptom relief. Working with a gut nutritionist can lessen the severity of symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and loose stools.

Stronger immune system

When you invest in your gut, you’re also strengthening your immune system. A healthy gut microbiome is closely tied to the presence of beneficial bacteria, which are vital for a healthy immune system. Conversely, an unhealthy gut microbiome can sometimes lead individuals to develop autoimmune disorders. About 70% of immune cells are housed in the gut.

The status of your immune system can be a reflection of your gut, so it’s crucial to eat nutritious foods to improve digestive health and boost your immunity. When you work on improving gut health, you also consume foods that can improve your immune system, like colorful fruits and vegetables and fiber-filled foods. A digestive health nutritionist can give you a better idea of incorporating these foods into your diet to improve your digestion without sacrificing taste. They’ll also stress the importance of getting enough water, especially when eating fiber-rich foods.

Improved quality of life

When you improve your stomach health, you also improve your quality of life. First, you’re no longer in pain because of digestive issues like hemorrhoids or constipation. You can also experience better sleep because you’ll no longer toss and turn with stomach pain or wake up constantly to use the restroom.

Stomach health is also linked to a person’s risk of developing depression or anxiety. That’s why stress can make it feel like you’ve got butterflies in your stomach or a bad stomachache. A digestive health nutritionist can help improve the brain-gut connection.

While improving your diet and digestion isn’t a cure-all for everything, improving your stomach health can benefit many aspects of your life. Improved digestion can impact how you sleep while reducing your negative digestive symptoms. Improved stomach health can also give you a chance for improved mental health.

What a gut health nutritionist/dietician can help you with

A gut health nutritionist or dietitian can help you deal with a wide range of digestive issues, including the ones listed below.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common disorder that causes stomach pain, uncomfortable gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Doctors can usually diagnose irritable bowel syndrome through the process of elimination and knowing your symptoms. A nutritionist can help you manage IBS by creating an individualized meal plan. By following their guidance, you can prepare healthy, delicious meals that won’t exacerbate your IBS symptoms.

Chronic bloating and gas

A nutritionist can help you with chronic bloating and gas. Bloating can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. While some bloating is entirely normal, chronic bloating can harm your quality of life. A nutritionist will recommend the best foods to help alleviate bloating and gas, including foods that contain probiotics such as fermented foods, yogurt, certain fruits, and some cheeses.

Constipation and diarrhea

Constipation and diarrhea can be uncomfortable effects of eating certain foods – especially processed food items – and lifestyle factors. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you identify the best course of action to decrease constipation and diarrhea. A nutritionist will identify ways to increase your fiber intake or recommend certain types of food for digestive health.

Leaky gut

A nutritionist can help you better understand the possible causes and treatments for a leaky gut. Signs of a leaky gut can include diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating. Nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, and stomach pains can also be symptoms. If you have a leaky gut, your nutritionist will probably create a meal plan that limits lectins. Lectins can bind to the cells lining your intestines, disrupting the tight junctions between cells and contributing to a leaky gut.

Food intolerances

It can be challenging to identify food intolerances on your own. A nutritionist can help pinpoint them and improve your health by limiting those foods in your meal plan. Rather than relying on food sensitivity tests that might give you misleading results, a nutritionist can use their expertise to identify food intolerances or sensitivities and advise how to avoid them in your diet.

Colitis and Crohn’s

You should avoid certain foods if you have colitis or Crohn’s disease. Foods with a lot of fiber can lead to too much activity in the gastrointestinal tract. Certain legumes, including beans, can also aggravate your gastrointestinal tract. A nutritionist can help create a plan specific to your dietary needs if you have colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Heartburn and acid reflux

Heartburn and acid reflux can be debilitating conditions. You may want to avoid fatty or acidic foods if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux. A nutritionist will counsel you on which foods to eat or avoid to lessen the heartburn or acid reflux you experience after eating.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when a person has an abnormal increase in bacteria in their small intestine. This happens when food isn’t properly digested, and bacteria begin to grow. SIBO makes people constantly bloated, and they may experience symptoms like brain fog, joint pain, fatigue, constipation, or diarrhea. A nutritionist can administer nutrition therapy to help people combat SIBO

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