Food elimination diets and food diaries are a great place to start when you have gut health issues or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). They're often the place I start with my clients because it helps reduce some of the irritation and inflammation in the gut and provides symptomatic relief, which is great. But the long-game needs to be a multi-pronged approach.
If you've already read my blog post: ‘The single biggest reason you keep getting gut issues you've never realised' you'll understand why simply removing lots of foods from your diet alone is not going to sort your gut health problems in the longterm. It's simply step one. The likelihood is there could be numerous underlying risk factors at play which may need addressing in a step-by-step approach.
If you have been trialling free-from diets like the low-FODMAP diet or gluten and dairy-free diets for a while now, with some, or minimal progress, it’s definitely time to move on to the next step!
Here are FIVE REASONS WHY you need to stop stressing over food elimination diets only and rethink your gut healing strategy.
1. You don’t want to be cutting foods out forever.
If you have food intolerances that trigger digestive problems, including IBS, it suggests you may have a leaky gut. Cutting foods out may help reduce immediate symptoms in the short-term, but it isn’t solving the root of the problem – the leaky gut.
Food intolerance is usually just a symptom of an unhappy gut. The heart of the issue is often to do with a leaky gut, which I've talked about before here.
I'll be sharing my 5-step gut healing plan at my up-coming gut health event, Learn to Love your Gut.
2. The low-FODMAP diet is not a cure-all.
The low-FODMAP diet can sometimes be helpful when there is chronic bloating, IBS and/or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). However, the Low-FODMAP diet is not recommended for long-term use (> 6 weeks).
This is because the low-FODMAP diet is a low fibre diet and gut bacteria need fibre to flourish. Long-term use of the low-FODMAP diet has a negative impact on the diversity of bacteria in your gut. It's also incredibly challenging and it can make food anxiety much worse. It really worries me when clients tell me they have been following a low-FODMAP diet for months on end in a bid to control their digestive symptoms. Book a call and we can chat through some options!!
3. Acid-blocking drugs are not a long-term solution.
Many clients need to take acid blocking drugs, for example, to control digestive symptoms in the short-term or to control the side effects of other medications*. However, acid blocking drugs are really only meant for short-term use.
We need acid. It is our first line of defence against infection and helps us absorb protein and vitamin B12 from our food. Long-term low stomach acid increases the risk of bacterial imbalance in the gut e.g. ‘gut dysbiosis’ or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, (SIBO) because opportunistic bacteria thrive in low acid conditions.
If you are on acid-blocking medication such as Omeprazole or Lansoprazole, purely for acid reflux or acid indigestion and not for any other reasons it is totally possible to balance stomach acid naturally. Check out my blog post on acid reflux or get in touch to find out more.
*Do not discontinue any medication especially without speaking to your doctor first.
4. You're Experiencing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Restrictive diets, including the low-FODMAP diet, can greatly increase the risk of social anxiety. Many people understandably worry about what they can and can’t eat, and where the nearest loo is. So much so they start to fear going out with friends. Eating out starts to feel like a huge no-go. I don't want you to feel like you're missing out on life. My 5-step gut healing plan will help you wave bye-bye to FOMO.
5. You've been told "there's nothing you can do".
This recently published review points to several treatable underlying triggers for IBS which if given the right support (i.e. personalised care) can be identified and addressed!
My learn to love your gut event is designed to help you get to the root cause of your digestive problems and support your gut health in five clear steps. Get your ticket now before it's too late. Can't make it? Get in touch with me here instead and we can arrange a chat. Don't normalise your symptoms any longer.
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