We’re excited to introduce a new dietitian to Newtown Nutrition. Amy Minogue is a FODMAPs certified dietitian; she completed her specialist FODMAP training with Monash University, the team that founded and created the low FODMAP diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), so she is up to date with the latest research strategies in the world of IBS.
To help you get to know Amy, we asked her to tell us a little more about herself, why she loves working in the area of IBS, and how a FODMAPs certified dietitian like herself can help you (or someone you know) if you are experiencing symptoms of IBS.
What made you decide to work in the are of Gut Health?
Hi, I’m Amy Minogue, FODMAPs Certified Dietitian.
What sparked my interest initially for working in the area of gut health, was when I started experiencing my own gut related issues. It’s a bit of a long story, but it began when I returned from an overseas trip to Bali, where I had a bit of a stomach bug or ‘Bali belly’ as we often call it. I never felt 100% after returning from the trip, experiencing fatigue and low energy levels, and was diagnosed with glandular fever. The fatigue continued, and I also began experiencing changes (for the worse) in my digestion and mental health. All of this went on for over 3 years. I saw A LOT of different health practitioners during this time with little success; most of them put it down to ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ and told me there was not a lot they could do to help. I finally found a supportive practitioner, who took a holistic approach focusing on my gut health, and I began to see improvements across all areas of my health!
As I learnt more, and looking back now, it makes sense when I link it all together; in terms of how my poor gut health at the time was affecting not only my digestion but also my energy levels and mental health.
From there I became really interested and passionate about the area of gut-health, to not only help get myself feeling better but to also apply what I had learnt, within my work as a dietitian to help clients who might be going through something similar.
What does ‘FODMAPs Certified Dietitian’ mean?
The low FODMAPs diet, is a diet used to help reduce gut symptoms in people with IBS, (for more info see my colleague Amanda’s post ‘What’s the fuss about FODMAPs?) and it has been shown that 3 out of 4 people with IBS find their symptoms will improve on a low FODMAPs diet. The diet was created by a team of researchers at Monash University around 10 years ago now, and their research in the area of FODMAPs and IBS still continues today. Although awareness and knowledge of the low FODMAPs diet has increased considerably over the past decade, so too has the misinformation and confusion around it. Because of this, the team of researchers at Monash have created an accredited course that dietitians can complete to ensure that they get trained by the experts!
How can you help someone with IBS?
If we decide that completing the low FODMAP diet will be the best option for you, firstly I can help with ensuring that you can follow the diet properly! There can often be extra pieces of information that clients may miss if they were to complete the diet on their own without the help of a dietitian. I can provide practical tips and tricks (including resources) to make the diet easier and more manageable to follow.
A big focus of mine when taking someone through the low FODMAPs diet, is to ensure nutritional adequacy of the broader diet. People who follow a restricted diet for an extended period of time are at risk of missing out on some important nutrients, so I can provide a thorough Nutritional Analysis of what you are eating and troubleshoot with you how to tweak your diet to improve your nutritional intake.
My aim is to get my clients back to eating a broad range of foods as soon as possible; the low FODMAPs diet is not intended to be followed long term (see Amanda’s post ‘The risks of following a low FODMAP diet‘). We will work together to challenge each of the FODMAPs groups and identify your triggers, and then slowly reintroduce foods (working with your individual FODMAPs threshold) to broaden the diet whilst staying symptom free!
If you have already tried the low FODMAPs diet and have not experienced symptom improvement, you are not at the end of the road! There are many different things outside of FODMAPs that could be playing a role in your IBS symptoms, and we can work through those to identify your personal triggers.
Additionally, I support all of our IBS clients through our Gut Restore System here at Newtown Nutrition, to get their gut back to health faster!
How will the low FODMAP diet affect my gut health?
One of the main things I found really interesting from my training, was the impact of the low FODMAPs diet on our gut microbiome; being the bacteria that lives within our gut. Depending on the types of bacteria, they can affect our health in both a positive or a negative way. Some of the FODMAPs (fructans and GOS) are classified as prebiotic fibres, meaning they act as ‘food’ within our gut to feed the good types of bacteria – which is great!
But when we take these prebiotic fibres out on a low FODMAPs diet, research indicates that even just within the first 2-6 week elimination period of the diet, changes within the microbiome (in terms of the numbers and types of beneficial bacteria) can start to be seen. So, it’s really important that whilst we are following a low FODMAPs diet we know which types of foods we can (and should) include to make sure we are still giving our good bacteria the ‘food’ that it needs.
This is where having the help of a dietitian can be really important and useful to ensure you give yourself the best chance of seeing great results with the diet.
If you’d like to find out how Amy can help you, send us a message and we’ll be in touch. Or you can book an appointment online