Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in a condition when the contents of your stomach backs up into the esophagus (the tube that connects your stomach to your mouth). This can lead to symptoms such as heartburn, pain in your esophagus, an unpleasant or bitter taste in your mouth, or a chronic dry cough. The types of food that you eat as well as when you eat and how you eat can all worsen symptoms of GERD. Learn more about how some changes in your dietary habits can reduce your symptoms of GERD.
Stress and spicy foods were once believed to be the cause of ulcers, but we now know better. Ulcers can be caused by bacteria in the stomach or certain medications. Ulcers are painful sores that can be found in the lining of your stomach or the small intestine leading to vomiting (sometimes with blood), bloating, dark stools, and/or unintended weight loss. While spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine don’t cause ulcers, they may make your pain worse. If you need help with this, our registered dietitian is available to come up with a nutrition plan while you’re healing from a peptic ulcer.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that can cause abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, and either constipation, diarrhea, or both. While there is no specific cause of IBS, diet and stress can be factors that worsen symptoms. A healthy eating pattern is important to reduce symptoms of IBS. It can often be tricky trying to identify which foods trigger your IBS symptoms, so a consultation with registered dietitian is important to ensure you understand the role food plays in your symptoms and to make sure you don’t avoid foods unnecessarily.
Diverticular disease is the umbrella terms for diverticulosis or diverticulitis. When you’re constipated and straining, the pressure weakens the tissue and can create small pouches (or diverticula) in your colon. Over time, stool can accumulate in these pouches and become trapped, leading to inflammation or infection (diverticulitis). Your diet needs to be modified when suffering from diverticulitis to one that is low in fibre and low residue. However, in order to prevent future infections, it’s important to have a diet that’s high in fibre, which can be a challenge for many. To prevent or manage symptoms of diverticular disease, consult with our registered dietitian.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While there is no known cause of IBD, some research suggests that it may occur when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cell in the digestive tract, affecting your colon or your stomach, esophagus, mouth, or anus. Symptoms can range from mild to severe such that at times you may feel ‘normal’ and healthy, and suddenly begin feeling unwell during a flare-up. Symptoms that occur during an IBD flare-up includes diarrhea, nausea, blood in your stool, loss of appetite, unplanned weight loss, fatigue, and/or pain and abdominal cramping. Over time, IBD can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and poor bone health. While there is no cure for IBD, you can better manage your symptoms and lower the risk of complications with some dietary changes. Consult with our registered dietitian for more peace of mind if you’re living with IBD.
Celiac disease is a condition in which the small intestine becomes damaged by gluten, a protein that is present in some foods containing wheat, rye, and barley. The damage caused by gluten leads to the intestines being less able to absorb nutrients which can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain, or can lead you feeling very fatigued, deficient in several important vitamins, and/or unable to stop yourself from losing weight. Celiac disease was previously considered to be a disease that was only diagnosed in children, but recent trends have shown that you can be diagnosed with celiac disease at any age. If not managed correctly, there can be lifelong consequences to your health, such as developing osteoporosis (or brittle bones), liver enzyme abnormalities, and skin ulcerations. A strict gluten-free diet is the solution to treating celiac disease, but can often be a complicated diet to navigate on your own.
Lower your risk for colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer if one of the most common cancers in Canada. Did you know that you can reduce your risk by modifying your diet? Some processed meats, alcohol, and not enough fibre in your diet can put you at a higher risk for colorectal cancer. Our registered dietitian can help you find alternative solutions to improve your diet while still enjoying the food you eat.
Constipation is when you don’t have regular bowel movements which can results in dry, hard, and difficult to pass stool. There are several causes of constipation such as not drinking enough liquids or not eating enough fibre. Some dietary fibres are more effective than others when you’re constipated. Our dietitian can help you learn more about the different types of fibre and how to increase it in your diet without having to only choose ‘whole wheat’ options.
Diarrhea is when you have loose stools and can sometimes be a result of food intolerances, as well as side effects from some medications, or diseases of the bowel. Some foods may trigger or worsen symptoms of diarrhea. But did you know that some forms of fibre may help reduce it? Learn more from our dietitian.
Gas and bloating
Gas and bloating can be extremely bothersome or uncomfortable for some people, while in others it can be completely normal. Some food intolerances may be the cause of your symptoms as well as how you eat. Our registered dietitian can help you find dietary solutions to reduce your uncomfortable symptoms.
Heartburn (or acid reflux) is when the acid from your stomach comes back up into the esophagus (the tube that connect your stomach to your mouth). This may cause a burning feeling in your chest. Most people may be aware that certain foods can trigger heartburn, but did you know that excess weight and how you eat can also lead to heartburn during the day, or overnight? Consult with our registered dietitian to learn more about ways to reduce your heartburn.
‘FODMAP’ is an abbreviation that stands for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAPs are types of of carbohydrates that may not be digested well and cause cause gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea, or constipation. Research shows that more than 50% of those with IBS who follow a low FODMAP diet supported by a registered dietitian can experience significant improvements in their symptoms. Learn more about a low FODMAP diet to manage your IBS by consulting with our registered dietitian.
A gluten-free diet is a diet that will help to treat celiac disease which can help you find relief from your symptoms of celiac. It isn’t just a diet that avoids bread and pasta. Gluten is a protein found in some foods such as wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and some commercial oat products, but it doesn’t stop there. Gluten can also be found in certain spices, gravies, scrambled eggs in restaurants, soy sauce, some supplements, and even in some hair products! When following a gluten-free diet incorrectly, this can lead to certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can affect your health in other ways. A dietitian can help you navigate the complexities of gluten-free diets to help you feel better once and for all.
Normally, lactose is broken down to two smaller sugars, glucose and galactose, by the enzyme lactase. Lactase is produced by the villi that line our small intestine, however the production of lactase can be reduced for a few reasons, such as: recent infection, age, or genetics. In this situation, such people have a lactase insufficiency and therefore lactose intolerance, which can cause diarrhea, gas, or bloating. However, it’s possible to rebuild your tolerance to lactose if done so carefully. To learn more about to rebuild your tolerance and/or to protect your bone health if you suffer from lactose intolerance, consult with our registered dietitian.
Fructose or Sorbitol intolerance
The foods we eat are made up of many components, including sugars. Fructose is a sugar found naturally in many foods, including honey, wheat, fruits and vegetables. Fructose is present in a single sugar form and also as a chain of fructose sugar units (fructans). Normally, fructose is absorbed in the small bowel. However, with fructose malabsorption, the normal absorption of fructose is impaired. Fructose malabsorption can cause symptoms of stomach bloating, gas, abdominal pain, loose stool and / or constipation, if the diet is not well planned. Not every food that contains fructose is a problem for people with fructose malabsorption. It’s important to understand which foods are suitable to eat, and which foods should be limited.