Access Allied Health

Food Intolerances and FODMAPs

Access Allied Health - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the low FODMAP diet

Irritable bowel Syndrome or IBS isn't really a dinner table topic of conversation but it affects around one in five people at some time.  IBS is a long term condition that has a long list of symptoms including abdominal pain and distention, bloating, excess wind, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation or a combination of both) and other gastrointestinal symptoms.  The cause is unknown but there are some known triggers such as change in routine, emotional stress, infection and diet. Unfortunately IBS cannot be cured with medication.  The good news is that research by Dr Sue Shepherd from Monash University in Melbourne has proven that there is a very effective dietary therapy for IBS.  It's the low FODMAP diet.

 food map

FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat.  FODMAP is an acronym (abbreviation) of certain molecule collections found in food that are poorly absorbed by some people.  These molecules shoot through to the large intestine (rather than being absorbed by the body) and become a food source for the bacteria that live there naturally.  The symptoms experienced by those with IBS are the outcome of the complex molecules (FODMAPs) being digested or fermented by the bacteria.


The low FODMAP diet has two phases.  The first phase involves eliminating high FODMAP foods for a period of 6 - 8 weeks.  The second phase involves gradually testing these high FODMAP foods to see which ones can be reintroduced and are suitable for each individual.   Obviously each low FODMAP diet is going to look different for each individual.  Tim Black our principal dietitian has completed two training courses at Monash University in Melbourne on the low FODMAP diet and has excellent success helping his clients find relief from the symptoms of IBS.   

Worried about weight gain this Christmas?

Access Allied Health - Friday, December 23, 2011

With the festive season fast approaching, some of us may be casting a thought as to what the ‘silly’ season will do to our waistline.  And fair enough too!  With the seemingly endless supply of festive food that Christmas has to offer, weight gain seems like an inevitable reality.  And yet weight gain is no-one’s goal, it’s just not something we want to think about in the season to be jolly.   So the approach seems to be ‘eat all you want and worry about it later’.  Now I don’t go for this.  I’m convinced we can enjoy all the culinary delights that Christmas has to offer without needing to up-size our wardrobes up at the New Year’s sales.  Here’s how:

Top 3 tips to keep the weight off over Christmas

1. Eat Breakfast

Simply put, starting the day with a decent breaky will help to control your appetite.

2. Don’t avoid the good stuff, just have one (that is – 1)

One serving of anything (be it Christmas dinner, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, a glass of wine), will not lead to weight gain – provided that one serving is a sensible one.  If being sensible is not something you’re into over Christmas, you can eat garden salads until they are coming out of your ears and you won’t put on weight.

3. Get outside

With longer days and a little more time on our hands, the Christmas break is an ideal time to increase our activity levels.  Bowl a few overs in backyard cricket, get down to the beach or a park for a stroll or have a hit of tennis – whatever takes your fancy.  Remember, you burn fat exercising at light levels, so it doesn’t need to be strenuous - just have fun.

Need more help?

If you do find that you do gain a few kilos over the holiday period, consider a tailored weight loss program to help get you back in shape.  Access Allied Health is offering comprehensive weight loss programs ranging from three to six months in length.

Contact us to book in for your FREE INITIAL ASSESSMENT to discuss with our dietitians how we can design a program to help you to lose weight and keep it off long term.