Misinformation affects many of my clients, but there is a way to spot your problem and seek reliable facts to solve it. Let’s take a closer look.
Let’s imagine that you or one of your children is suffering from excess gas. Your friend may recommended a gluten-free diet, but your friend is not a doctor or dietitian. The question is: “Is this suggestion right for you or your kids?” Let’s use the three-step approach to solve your struggle with gas and bloating.
Spot the problem: It seems that everything that’s eaten causes gas. Your friend said to stop eating wheat and gluten, you aren’t sure if that was the right advice.
Get the facts: After reading a medical website, you learn that gas, bloating and burping are all common, and can be normal. Remember it can be helpful to search on trusted websites. Try searching the term “gas” on these trusted websites:
From doing that search, you learn that gas, bloating and burping may be caused by swallowed air, medicines, supplements and certain food or drinks. So, maybe the problem is that daily chickpea salad hasn’t been digesting properly. Or may one of those supplements you take could be the problem.
You also note that gas and bloating could be the sign of a condition, such as lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease. Often, we feel unsure of the reason for our symptoms, or those of our kids and it’s important not to self-diagnose. This is when it’s important to get the help of your doctor.
If you want to learn more about your friend’s suggestion to give up gluten in case it is celiac disease, you can visit the Canadian Celiac Association website. From doing this, you will see that if you need to be tested for celiac disease, you need to be eating gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) before the test to get accurate results. Often clients have taken their friend’s advice to remove gluten from their diet, without realizing they can get a “false negative” result. If you or someone in your family does need to go that route, you can always work with a dietitian before eliminating foods, since we can help you plan a balanced diet and ensure you meet your nutrient needs.
Seek support: After reading this, you now know it’s important to not self-diagnose or rely solely on advice from websites or well-meaning friends. You can talk to your doctor about the symptoms. If necessary you can see a gastroenterologist (digestive health doctor). You can also see a dietitian (like me!) to help you figure out which foods may be causing discomfort.
Do you have a food fight that you struggle with? Try the three-step approach to Take the Fight out of Food and make your commitment official at www.nutritionmonth2017.ca.
If you or someone in your family needs to eliminate certain foods, be sure to contact Jill, Nurture The Future’s Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make sure you are getting what you need.
References: Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: www.nutritionmonth2017.ca.