Are you sick of feeling sick? Have you heard friends and family raving about the new diet they have started? Maybe it’s a gluten free diet. Maybe its the paleo diet. Have you tried a diet that was supposed to make you lose weight, clear your acne or give you energy but it didn’t work? Its probably because it’s the wrong one for you. Unfortunately, what is beneficial for one person may not be beneficial for the next. For example, the paleo diet is a wonderful clean diet but it is also high in oxalates. Now if you are someone who cannot tolerate a high oxalate diet you may actually feel worse. This is when professional guidance can become valuable. Nutritionists are trained to develop a deep understanding of your state of health and match a diet you your current needs. Spending the time and money on a nutritional consultation initially can provide you with a plan that will work for you the first time instead of trying diet after diet which can become confusing and frustrating.
When it comes to the world of diets, the average person can become very confused. We are in an age where too much information has become an issue and sifting through it can be difficult. For example if you google “What diet helps IBS?”, you will find over 10 million results! This becomes a huge issue when there is conflicting advice that may not help your symptoms or could actually make them worse.
So why is there so much advice out there? Why does one diet work for one person but not for another? It is because we are all individuals.
Firstly, our genetics determine the foundations of how our bodies function, including predispositions to food sensitivities, weight issues, thyroid function, hormone production, liver function and the list goes on. All of this can impact what diet is right for you.
Then there is gut flora. At birth you are inoculated with your mothers flora for protection, which then becomes the foundation for your own gut flora. This will also differ depending if you were a natural birth or caesarean birth. The type of bacteria you are exposed to will have a huge impact on how your immune system reacts to food as well as how it gets broken down and digested. Some bacteria love carbohydrates and starches – This may cause you to prefer those foods. Some bacteria have a hard time breaking down high fibre foods – This may mean you bloat after a green salad. Gut flora is one of the main reasons why we all need individual diets.
Then there are environmental factors.
Stress has a huge impact on how our digestive system can handle food. If you are under short term or long term mental/emotional stress you may find it hard to digest certain foods. This is because in this stress response state, the body reduces all digestive secretions in favour of other processes like blood flow to the muscles and the brain. This means you may not have enough stomach acid or digestive enzymes to break down them down.
Parasites, bacteria and yeast will also affect how we crave and react to foods. These pathogens can live in our digestive tract and secrete toxins that cause inflammation. Once there is inflammation along the gut wall you may become sensitive to certain foods. These pathogens can also consume the foods we are eating (for example candida loves sugar and starches) and contribute to your symptoms as they multiply.
Lastly, individual dietary needs are important for treatment. You may have a candida overgrowth but are also reacting to oxalates. This means a paleo diet may not be the best option for you as it is very high in oxalates. The same is said for IBS. You may decide to follow a high fibre diet to improve your bowel symptoms but may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). High fibre in this case will actually worsen your symptoms.
So what can you do?
If you have tried certain diets or restrictions and haven’t had any benefits it is a good idea to speak to a qualified Nutritionist. We take a detailed case history to look for root causes and patterns, assess your current diet and possible links to your symptoms, identify which body systems may need extra nutritional support but most importantly create a dietary plan that is right for you.
For the month of November, our Nutritionist Rebecca Baldry is offering a special price of $70 for your first consultation*. That is a saving of $30!
To book in for your consultation please call Realize Health Clinic on 3801 2561
Check out Rebecca’s Instagram posts here.
*Initial consultations run for 1 hour and health care rebates are available depending on your level of health cover.