Ring in a Healthy Gut this New Year

 Health Tips with Karla Heintz (BSc), Nutrition Educator

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If you are the one millions of people who suffer digestive discomfort, and have been slapped with an IBS label, this news is for you.

Many people experience abdominal discomfort, extreme bloating and abdominal distension (to the degree it looks like your carrying twins), gas, fullness and cramps.  Sometimes bowel movements are erratic where one day you have diarrhea and the next day firm stools that are painful to pass. 

Here is the reality.  All these signs point to one thing: your body is ingesting something or something’s that is not digesting well.  Think of it as a food intolerance.   If you want relief, you need to challenge yourself on being thorough and doing a food elimination diet.  It will be hard at first, but once you give it a bit of time, in learning new grocery store items you will find it easier.  If you have found that key food(s), you will notice relief in as quick as a few days. 



1 - 14

Eliminate ALL the foods you feel might be the cause of your digestive problem.  Often they are the ones you carve, go to for comfort, and eat frequently.


Introduce food #1 (like a gluten containing food) up to three times on this day.  Journal how you feel.

16 - 17

Stop food #1 and recognize any symptoms.  Record what you notice.  If you do not feel any problems than this food is likely not a culprit of your discomfort.


Introduce food #2 (like a dairy food) up to three times on this day. Journal how you feel. 

19 – 20

Stop food #2 and recognize any symptoms.  Record what you notice. 


Introduce food #3…. And so on







Suggested Food Groups to Trial

  •   Gluten                                                                                                                         
  •   Dairy products from a cow
  •   Foods containing yeast
  •   Simple sugars such as in candy, cakes, pop, juices, and processed foods

Let me take it one step further. Through this food elimination process, you may recognize that you struggle to digest FODMAPs.  FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable-oligosaccharides - disaccharides - monosaccharide’s – and polyols.  We also call these short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine.

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation has a great print article on FODMAPs and chart on what foods it includes.  You can find it at: http://www.cdhf.ca/bank/document_en/32-fodmaps.pdf

Karla Heintz (BSc) Nutrition Educator and Author of

‘Picky! Not Me Mom! A parents’ guide to children’s nutrition.