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Gut Issues? Why you need a diagnosis PRIOR to making nutrition changes.

#AskADietitian Videos, Feature, Gut Health & IBS

A young girl feeding her father a nutritious homemade sandwich.
Gut Issues? Why you need a diagnosis PRIOR to making nutrition changes. Featured Image

This week on #AskADietitian live, I cover why you NEED a diagnosis prior to making nutrition changes!

The big takeaways:

Restrictive diets AREN’T benign.

When you restrict (ie. restricting gluten) – it may make it hard to get a real diagnosis. A celiac blood screen should be done prior to implementing a gluten free diet if celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is suspected – it will help to ensure you’re not unnecessarily restricting. In my article ‘Is it gluten’ – we talk about how fructans are often the problem in IBS, NOT gluten!

Unnecessary restriction – assuming the last food we ate is what made us sick leads us to a very small list of safe foods. It’s MUCH more complicated than that. In my article ‘What is IBS’ and on this episode I talk about the ‘bucket effect’.

The NOCEBO effect

The nocebo affect assumes that what we are doing has a negative effect on us. The biggest one I see is assuming food makes us sick – is often enough to trigger symptoms – when in fact, it’s our fear of that food causing inappropriate GI symptoms!


You’ve heard it from me before – less variety means less varied fuel for your gut microbiome. This potentially can contribute to a decline in abundance and variety of bacteria. (as proven in those who follow a low FODMAP diet too long – a decline in healthy bifidobacterium in the gut occurs!)

Quality of life

Food is more than just fuel! Restrictive diets can lead to missing out on so many important things in our life that centre around food.

Often times, people jump into restrictive diets unnecessarily, which comes down to PROPER DIAGNOSIS. Unfortunately, because of the stigma around IBS, we often brush off the diagnosis, and don’t have proper access to adequate treatment. At Ignite, we help people with coordination of care, and a holistic approach to health and wellness. Work with one of our dietitians today!

Andrea Hardy
About the Author

Andrea Hardy

Andrea Hardy is known in the media as Canada's Gut Health Dietitian. With her expertise, she has spoken internationally on all things digestive health, from SIBO, to the gut microbiome, to IBS. As owner of Ignite Nutrition, she has trained her team in the 4 Pillar Approach™️ to digestive health management - our comprehensive, evidence-based approach to managing digestive issues.

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