IBS, fodmap and dietitians

IBS, fodmap and dietitians

There is a lot of fodmap information on the web. Could I try the FODMAP diet myself?

There are good reasons why you should only explore the FODMAP diet with the guidance of a registered dietitian. On the face of things it looks like a list of foods to avoid during the restriction phase and a list that you can eat. However, the complexity of the food chain, particularly in regard to prepared foods, is such that the dietitian can explain about guidance via food labels and navigating menus when eating out.

Secondly, as the low FODMAP is relatively new much of the information on the web can be out of date. This can create some confusion for the patient and it is important that the diet is correctly adhered to in order to ensure a high level of success for those treating their IBS symptoms.

Lastly, there are certain foods that everyone should eat regularly in order to have a balanced, healthy nutritious diet. Your dietitian will support you through the process and ensure the steps are followed correctly and that a healthy diet is not accidentally left behind.


Do I have to see an NHS dietitian?

There are dietitian’s working in the NHS and privately who have formal training in the fodmap diet. The most appropriate thing is to enquire with your GP if your NHS trust provide that support to IBS sufferers. Some patients may prefer to make an appointment directly with a private dietitian with fodmap training in order to facilitate speed and convenience. 

Dietitians are experts in motivating and empowering patients to self-manage their condition in the long term, taking a holistic approach which encompasses dietary, personal and social factors to make sure the therapeutic approach is tailored to the individual. 


My friend has recommended their nutritionist to help get me going with the fodmap diet?

Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public health level. They work with both healthy and sick people. Dietitians use the most up to date research on health, food and disease. In fact it was dietitians who discovered the fodmap diet through research conducted at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Nutritionists do not have a protected legal title, so anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. There is no requirement for a degree of a BSc or equivalent with a nutritionist and they are not qualified to work in a clinical setting.

Dietitians can complete a specialist course for the fodmap diet that is run by King’s College London, which is the UK centre for excellence in the fodmap diet for irritable bowel syndrome. 


What support materials would I need to successfully complete the fodmap diet?

Whilst there is a good deal of information available on the web the best route to support materials is via a suitable fodmap app for your smartphone or through the official booklets that King’s College London offer through their dietitians.