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Optimising Gut Health

It’s clear that boosting the health of our gut is one of the most effective ways to enhance our overall health and wellbeing.

But first, what exactly is gut health? Gut health relates to the workings of your entire gastrointestinal tract (the tube that delivers food from entry to exit). This involves the digestion and absorption of nutrients, the “leakiness” of our gut, 70% of your immune cells, and many other functions that happen without us knowing.

But it doesn’t end there. More recently we have discovered the community of trillions of bacteria living in our gut, uncovering a whole new way in which we can better manage gut-related conditions and also improve overall health and happiness. In fact this community of bacteria, known as the gut microbiota, is thought to impact many conditions external to the gut, including depression and Type 2 diabetes.

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Functional Gut Disorders

Do you suffer with bothersome gut symptoms at least once a week? Have they been persisting for at least 6 months? If you answered yes to both, you may have what is call a functional gut disorder.

Functional Gut Disorders are a category of conditions that include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bloating, where the structure of the gut is normal but how it works isn’t. Somewhat like a show house or a model home, everything looks okay but, on closer inspection, often the plumbing and electricity don’t actually work. If it turns out that this applies to your gut, don’t panic, as such disorders really are very common, affecting around 20% of people.

Our research team at King’s College London are currently investigating a range of different diet-based therapies to help manage different types of Functional Gut Disorders with great success. At The Gut Health Clinic, all our dietitians are experts in this area. They will help you identify which type of Functional Gut Disorders you may have, recommend any tests needed and provide tailored dietary and lifestyle advice to help get your symptoms under control, and your quality of life back on track.

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Food intolerances

There is no denying that food intolerances can be confusing to navigate, which is why the medical guidelines recommend seeing a dietitian. We are experts in helping determine whether a specific food or component really doesn’t agree with you or whether there is actually another cause for your gut symptoms, such as IBS.

The gold standard for diagnosing food intolerances is an exclusion diet, followed by a placebo-controlled reintroduction. These describe our 3R Method: Record, Restrict and Re-introduce. This is based on a simple rationale: restriction of the food component under suspicion should resolve your symptoms, and reintroduction should reproduce symptoms. We have helped hundreds of people navigate through this pathway to regain their confidence and the enjoyment of eating.

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Digestive symptoms

Whether it’s an occasional inconvenience or a debilitating daily occurrence, no one should have to put up with ongoing gut symptoms. Unfortunately, many do – in fact, as many as 30 per cent of people worldwide report living with gut symptoms that impact their quality of life.

Our dietitians have a wealth of experience in fine-tuning your diet and lifestyle to help you get on top of common symptoms, such as bloating and excess wind. For some, these symptoms may be worse when traveling, under stress, or perhaps for you are completely unpredictable - whatever your trigger, we can help!

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Do you have abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation? Are you worried the foods you eat trigger your gut symptoms? Have you tried modifying your diet on your own, yet your symptoms have not improved? Diet plays a pivotal role in IBS and, thankfully, there are several dietary strategies to tackle IBS symptoms.

Our expert dietitians from King’s College London are at the forefront of research that focuses on improving IBS symptoms through dietary strategies and are therefore very well-equipped with the latest evidence in the treatment of IBS. Our team will help you understand why you experience gut symptoms and support you in identifying potential dietary triggers for your IBS symptoms.

We will also give you a detailed dietary plan on how to manage your symptoms with comprehensive practical suggestions, with the ultimate aim to improve your gut health.

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Low FODMAP Diet

The low FODMAP diet is a treatment option for people with certain IBS symptoms. Some carbohydrates can trigger IBS symptoms because they are fermented by gut bacteria. These carbohydrates are called Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols (FODMAPs).

The diet involves a strict exclusion phase and then a systematic reintroduction phase. Our team have extensive experience researching and advising on the low FODMAP diet. Not only do we guide you on the principles of the diet and how to limit any negative side effects, but we can make the diet practical to fit around your lifestyle.

Clinical guidelines recommend that the diet should be undertaken with dietitian support and research by our team has shown that success rates on the low FODMAP diet are higher with dietitian support than without!

The diet is not suitable for everyone and can even make some IBS symptoms more troublesome. The expert dietitians at The Gut Health Clinic will carry out an individual assessment of your medical history, symptoms, diet and lifestyle to tailor individualised dietary advice for you.

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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Commonly referred to as SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is characterised by an increased number of microbes invading the small intestine. The small intestine is much more sensitive than the large intestine and so it doesn’t fare well when having to accommodate these extra microbial guests (and their fermenting feasts). As a consequence, they can interfere with the small intestine’s normal functioning, causing IBS-like symptoms, such as tummy pain, bloating, excess flatulence and diarrhoea.

Our dietitians can help diagnose SIBO with breath tests and support you through the diet and lifestyle management pathways needed to help beat SIBO for good.

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Coeliac Disease

The only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. We know how hard this can be and it can often feel impossible to enjoy food and eat out in the same way after your diagnosis. We provide advice on how to reverse the intestinal damage from consuming gluten and improve your gut symptoms.

Our expert team will give you support on how to follow a nutritionally balanced and tasty gluten-free diet. We have clinical experience of managing the complications from coeliac disease, including osteoporosis, iron deficiency anaemia, fertility issues and nutritional deficiencies.

Many people with coeliac disease also experience other dietary intolerances and gut health conditions, despite strictly following a gluten-free diet. We can help you understand symptoms and provide tailor-made dietary advice to improve your gut health.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Our dietitians have a wealth of experience in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Whether you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, we will consider your full medical history and listen to your dietary concerns. Are you unsure about what you should eat? Worried that certain foods cause flare-ups? Are you restricting foods but now concerned you have an unbalanced diet? Have you read about diets for IBD on the internet but now feel more confused?

In your consultation, we can explore the evidence behind novel foods and diets to help your IBD or manage your symptoms. Or, if you have more specific concerns about pre-operative nutrition, post-operative nutrition, ileostomies and colostomies, Alicia is an expert in those too!

Our team not only have clinical experience of IBD, but we conduct research in IBD and diet too. This means we keep up-to-date with the most recent evidence to provide you with individualised nutrition care that works for you.


 

Booking Form

To make an enquiry or book an appointment, please complete the booking form below or email bookings@theguthealthclinic.com

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Where to find us:

22 Upper Wimpole St, Marylebone, London W1G 6NB