IBS Dietitian + nutritionist | FODMAP trained | Online appointments

Irritable bowel syndrome

An unhappy gut can cause anxiety and stress, making nourishing your body a confusing task. Work with an IBS dietitian to explore your unique concerns and use nutrition and lifestyle to improve your gut health.

Irritable bowel syndrome and nutrition

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that impacts the function of your digestive system. This can cause you to experience diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain or discomfort. The cause of IBS is unknown but it is believed many factors play a role. 

  • Gut sensitivity: people with IBS often have more sensitive nerves around their bowel. This means they feel changes in their bowel more strongly. 
  • Gut movement: the contents of their bowel may move slowly or quickly through their bowel. This can result in diarrhoea (fast movement) or constipation (slow movement).
  • Microbiome: it is believed people with IBS may have an imbalance of ‘good’ to ‘bad’ bacteria in their gut. There is still more research needed in this area to identify what a healthy and balanced gut looks like.
  • Infections: some people develop IBS symptoms after a bout of gastroenteritis. 

Many people living with IBS have feelings of anxiety and stress as the cause of their symptoms is unknown or confusing. This can have a huge impact on their quality of life and how they approach socialising, work and relationships. Working with an IBS dietitian can help you manage your symptoms and help you live life again.

IBS and eating disorders

Disordered eating and IBS are closely linked. People with IBS can develop disordered eating behaviour as they skip meals or restrict food to manage their uncomfortable symptoms. Conversely, people with an eating disorder often experience uncomfortable gut symptoms due to their disordered eating style. 

When using diet strategies to manage IBS symptoms it is important to work with an IBS dietitian who is experienced in eating disorders. Kim is an accredited dietitian who works in both the eating disorder and IBS space. She is able to provide a nuanced and empathetic approach to support the management of your symptoms.

Find out more about eating disorders.


How is IBS diagnosed?

There is currently no test for IBS. Instead your symptoms and medical history are considered. Other conditions such as coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and endometriosis are ruled out first. Once these conditions are ruled out, a tool called the Rome IV criteria is used to make the IBS diagnosis. 

There are many online tests that claim to diagnose IBS and food intolerances. It is important to know that these tests cannot diagnose IBS. Speak with your doctor, gastroenterologist or dietitian before paying for these tests. 

Why see a dietitian?

It is a confusing place online with many different diets and supplements being promoted as “gut healing”. Know what is true and what is false can be hard! Kim is an IBS dietitian who understands the science and research behind nutrition and gut health. She will help you find the best way to manage your IBS by considering your health and lifestyle needs. 

Kim takes the time to explain why our food or lifestyle can impact our symptoms and how you can implement lasting change. Food will no longer be the enemy and you can start to enjoy eating again!

Woman eating and feeling happy
Manage your symptoms and get back to enjoying food

What is the FODMAP diet?

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Or more simply, they are carbohydrates found in food that our body cannot digest. This can result in an increase of gas or fluid in our gut which can increase IBS symptoms. Completing a 3-stage FODMAP diet can help identify which FODMAPs you are sensitive to.

It is important to note that the FODMAP diet is not the only way to manage IBS. The FODMAP diet is a restrictive process and is not appropriate for everyone. Other strategies such as gut-directed hypnotherapy, meal patterns and supplements can be just as effective at managing IBS. 


Low FODMAP diet

The first step is to reduce the number of high FODMAP foods in your diet for 2-6 weeks. If your IBS symptoms improve it indicates you may be sensitive to FODMAP carbohydrates.


Reintroduce FODMAPs

The next step is to methodically reintroduce each FODMAP to determine which carbohydrate triggers your symptoms. This process takes around 6-8 weeks. 


Personalised diet

Once we know which FODMAPs you are sensitive to we can create a personalised plan. You will be able to identify which foods cause discomfort and you can choose when you would like to eat them. 

Frequently asked questions

If you struggle with diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and or abdominal pain you may have IBS. Speaking with your GP or dietitian is a great place to start. A dietitian is able to recognise signs of IBS and refer you to have these symptoms investigated.

A GP can order blood tests and refer you to see a gastroenterologist for further testing as required. Once other conditions such as coeliac disease or diverticular disease have been excluded you will receive an IBS diagnosis.

No a dietitian cannot diagnose IBS. Dietitians are trained to identify symptoms that require further investigation. It is very important to receive a formal IBS diagnosis from your doctor to rule out other serious health conditions.

There are many ways IBS can be managed. In your initial dietitian appointment your health, lifestyle and relationship with food will be discussed. This will help determine if the FODMAP diet is right for you.

If you and your dietitian decide the FODMAP diet is not right that is okay. There are many different ways IBS can be managed. 

IBS is a chronic condition. You are able to get a Chronic Disease Management Plan from your GP. This will provide a rebate on 5 dietitian appointments per year. The rebate covers $56 of your appointment fee. 

Speak with your GP to see if you are eligible.

Yes. You are able to receive a rebate from your private health insurer if you have dietetic cover. 

Speak to your insurer for more information.