How This Gut Health Dietitian Approaches Irritable Bowel Syndrome
When it comes to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) it can be difficult to find a dietitian or practitioner who really approaches your IBS symptoms in the way you want to be helped. So today I’d like to shine a light on my approach to IBS and show you how I help people with IBS reach a calm belly.
Gut Health Dietitian
When I started working as a registered dietitian in 2015, it soon became very clear to me that there are a lot of people who are suffering from gut issues.
Many of the people in my practice have been dealing with gut issues for a long time, and to many of them, it was told that there wasn’t much they could do about it.
Even the people who didn’t have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) did not get much to work with from their doctors or practitioners.
My personal frustration about that, and the fact that I have been dealing with my own IBS since I was a teenager, made me decide to become a gut health and IBS dietitian.
Because I know how frustrating it is to not get a satisfying answer to your questions. Or to just be sent home with some prescription medication without really wanting to take that.
And so my quest began! Joining IBS-related dietitian courses, doing my own research and putting my knowledge into practice for my own IBS and later hundreds of clients.
By now my approach is a balanced mix between evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle advice and a full-body approach. This has developed during the treatment of my clients.
In the past years, I have seen hundreds of clients with IBS and gut symptoms. I’ve seen which approaches work, and have always adjusted my approach when something wasn’t effective enough.
So let’s talk you through my current IBS-CARE action plan!
The IBS-CARE Action Plan!
In the last couple of years, I have been working on my personal framework to create an optimal plan for people with IBS. This is how IBS-CARE came to life!
IBS-CARE consists of all the evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle therapies in combination with my practice-based experience. It’s a 100% custom framework made by me. Whenever I feel something needs to be added to it, it will happen ASAP.
What Does IBS-CARE Consist Of?
IBS-CARE is an abbreviation for the main pillars that are most important when it comes to IBS symptom improvement.
Intake of the Right Foods
‘I’ stands for the intake of the right foods. When you work with me, we will always aim for a healthy and gut-supporting food pattern. We will aim to identify any food sensitivities you have and work to improve them. I will never tell you to stop eating your favorite foods. We’ll work towards a balance that works for you. Food should be fun.
‘B’ stands for breathwork. The way you breathe can improve or worsen your IBS symptoms. During the IBS-CARE program we’ll work to find a way of breathing that works for you.
Stress Reduction and Sleep
‘S’ stands for stress reduction and sleep. Stress has been linked to an increase of IBS symptoms and a reduction of the healthy gut bacteria. It can literally wreak havoc on your gut. Nowadays not everyone can identify all the stressors in their life. During IBS-CARE we will work to identify those stressors and find ways to reduce overall stress during your day.
Sleep is also an important factor for gut health. Not only will you feel groggy when you haven’t slept well, but sleep deprivation has also been linked to a less healthy gut microbiome.
Control of Symptoms
‘C’ stands for control of symptoms. When it comes to IBS, there it not (yet) a 100% effective cure. But with the insight of your bodily reactions to daily factors like sleep, breathing, stress, food and many more your take the matters into your hands! During IBS-CARE we aim for you to know what works for you and what doesn’t. This way you won’t be caught off guard by your IBS-symptoms and YOU make the decisions.
Social Activities and Physical Activities
‘A’ stands for activities. Both social activities and physical activity. Personally, I find it essential that you don’t have to cancel a fun night out, a dinner party, or a holiday because of an IBS flare-up. During IBS-CARE we focus on methods you can use to prepare yourself and make a social activity go as smooth as possible. No one wants to spend the night on the couch with a warm water bottle while your friends are out having fun……
Physical activity can actually be an asset when it comes to IBS symptom improvement. Certain types of activity can worsen your IBS symptoms, while others can improve them! I’ll tell you exactly how that works during the program!
Reinforcement of the Microbiome
‘R’ stands for reinforcement of the microbiome. As mentioned earlier, sleep and stress can alter the microbiome. But your food pattern has the biggest influence on your microbiome! In studies, people with IBS have shown to have a less diverse microbiome in comparison to healthy people. The nutrition plan during IBS-CARE is aimed at strengthening your microbiome as much as possible.
Enhancement of Lifestyle
‘E’ stands for enhancement of lifestyle. When it comes to IBS, your lifestyle and eating pattern (and habits) can make a HUGE difference. We focus on actionable items and regularity that you can easily apply to your daily life. Nothing too complicated, it needs to be do-able and maintainable!
Are You Ready for a Calm Belly?
Hi there, I’m Manon.
In my daily life I work as a registered dietitian in the Netherlands with a special interest in gut health.
During my workday I get loads of questions about healthy food, recipes and lifestyle to make it a little easier to get healthy. On Positive Gut I collect my best recommendations, tips and recipes to make your healthy lifestyle a little easier!