Dietetics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a debilitating condition that can cause discomfort, pain, stress and, at times, embarrassment. IBS dietitians are specially trained to help ease IBS symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Living with IBS

IBS is a long-term digestive condition. It can’t be cured (and we still don’t fully understand the cause) but its symptoms can be managed with the right support.

IBS can be unpredictable, which can make people anxious about going out. Symptoms vary from one person to another but may include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea and/or constipation
  • Wind
  • A change in your bowel movements
  • At times, an urgent need for the bathroom – and you might not always get there in time. 

While it may be hard to live with, be reassured that IBS does not increase your chance of developing other bowel-related conditions or cancer.

Because IBS affects each person in a unique way, you may often have tried several different treatment approaches before finding one (or more) that work for you. After diagnosing IBS, your GP may recommend medications and lifestyle changes, which may help to some degree. 

One of the most important treatment approaches is changing your diet – and that’s best done under the guidance of an IBS dietitian. 

What is an IBS dietitian?

Dietitians are university-trained, accredited healthcare professionals who help people with many different health conditions.
IBS dietitians go one step further. They’ve undertaken additional intensive training at Monash University in the dietary management of IBS using a low FODMAP diet.  

Get support from an IBS dietitian

Make appropriate dietary changes to ease IBS symptoms

Manage acute flare ups of your condition

Troubleshoot problems

Access other help with the emotional or physical aspects of IBS

Given the complexity of managing IBS, it’s important that you seek out the skills of an IBS dietitian who is well equipped to help you.

Meet our IBS dietitian, Maddie Lawson

A keen long-distance runner, Maddie has faced her own gut health difficulties (they’re common among athletes). Those experiences saw her change her major from sports science to dietetics and complete additional training to become an IBS dietitian. 

 “IBS is a quietly debilitating condition that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves from the medical community. It can make your life feel dysfunctional. Thankfully, there are now some evidence-based treatment methods that are helping many people with IBS.”

- Maddie Lawson, IBS dietitian at The Health Collective

Maddie now supports many different people living with IBS across the age spectrum. 

IBS and the low-FODMAP diet

Monash University has pioneered the low FODMAP diet, an evidence-based treatment that relieves IBS symptoms in 75% of people.
Found in both natural foods and food additives, FODMAPS are a group of sugars that aren’t properly absorbed in the gut, which can trigger symptoms if you have IBS.  

You can’t cut out all FODMAPs (they’re found in too many different foods) but, with the help of an IBS dietitian, you can work out which ones are a problem for you and either eliminate or reduce your consumption of those particular ones. The goal is to help you eat as varied and enjoyable diet as possible without triggering your IBS. 

The FODMAP approach to IBS

Cut out
2-6 weeks
We remove all FODMAPs from your diet to reset your system

8-12 weeks
We reintroduce one FODMAP at a time, one food at a time and monitor your tolerance

Long term
You know what you can and can’t tolerate and find the right balance, avoiding some high-FODMAP foods and enjoying many others.

Given the complexity of managing IBS, it’s important that you seek out the skills of an IBS dietitian who is well equipped to help you.

Get the IBS answers you’re looking for at The Health Collective

Working with our IBS dietitian, Maddie, takes the confusion out of living with IBS.

Under Maddie’s guidance, you learn what you can and can’t eat or how much of a certain food you can tolerate before triggering symptoms. That can make a tremendous difference in your life. 

  • Ease discomfort
  • Regain confidence
  • Renew hope
  • Eat with as much freedom as possible

All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The Health Collective can consult with you to confirm if a particular treatment approach is right for you.