One of the ‘not so good’ aspects of being a dietitian, is that whenever you tell people that you’re a dietitian, they start telling you about their bloating, farting and bowel habits….which is FINE when I’m at work, BUT when I’m at a party and just want to switch off and enjoy myself, it’s not so fun.

Dietitians become very comfortable with talking about poo, farts and all the other bodily functions that are usually not discussed in polite conversation.  HOWEVER, April is IBS Awareness month, so NOW is the time for us all to talk about it!

So what is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?? IBS is the most common gastro intestinal disorder in Australia, occurring in approximately 15% of the population. It occurs when the digestive system had trouble absorbing certain sugars such as fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (a.k.a. FODMAP’s).

IBS can become socially isolating.  I’ve had clients who are afraid to leave the house in case they experience  diarrhoea, and others who won’t eat with others as they are so concerned about being the culprit of an unpleasant smell in the middle of dinner.  For others, it’s just a little pot belly that appears after eating certain foods.  Either way, why put up with it if you don’t have to?

If you have a grumpy digestive system, try these tips:

1.            Try a low FODMAP diet for 4 weeks, and then undertake the FODMAP challenges to see which FODMAPs your gut reacts to.

2.            Schedule some regular ‘me time’ to reduce stress levels and decrease the sensitivity of the nerve-endings around your gut.

3.            Take a probiotic (recent research suggests that the B.Infantis strain is the best strain for bloating).  Check out Meta-Align probiotics which can be found in pharmacies.

4.            Make an appointment to see a dietitian who can assist you to improve your gut health (I can make some recommendations, just email me with the area that you live and any special requirements).

I hope you learn a little bit more about IBS by watching the clip below. Be sure to try my ‘Low FODMAP Minestrone Soup’ so that your friends can come over for a meal without worrying if they’re going to bloat like a balloon.


Even if you don’t have IBS, I hope that you’ve learnt a few tips so that you can be more aware for others.

PS.  The latest stats suggest that one in every five people will have Irritable Bowel Syndrome at some stage in their life.  So, take a look around your office, family, the train you’re on or the café that you’re in – there’s probably some people there with you right now who are internally stressing that they might look bloated or have to run to the loo before they’ve finished eating their snack.  So, please feel free to share this with all of your girlfriends so that they can find relief for their bowel habits too! Or pop the link to my video on your Facebook page. Thanks for your help! x


Melanie McGrice in the kitchen

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