About The Author
Erin Judge, RDN is an IBS-specialist dietitian based in Nashville, Tennessee. In her virtual practice, she provides nutrition counseling and lifestyle coaching for women with IBS. Her mission is to empower women to restore their relationship with their bodies, get control of their symptoms, and build up their microbiome for long term health!
#1 Think Positive
Before making any dietary changes, consider working on your mindset first. Mindset refers to a deeply held set of beliefs that influence your thoughts, which then translate into action. IBS and other digestive disorders have the unique ability to affect both the gut and the mind, so many people living with these disorders may struggle with their relationship to self and their quality of life.
Self-compassion is a much more effective motivator for longterm change than shame and fear. By shifting your perspective to have respect for your body, your thoughts about your body begin to change.
#2 Eat the Rainbow
When making dietary changes, advocate for nutrition diversity to yourself and your providers. While many dietary interventions for digestive disorders involve eliminating different foods, diversity of plants is key to microbiome health. Get creative with how you incorporate foods that aren’t as common for you and find fun ways to mix up the diversity of the foods you are having. Many times, this is as simple as reducing portions of specific foods and pairing them with foods that are more tolerable, instead of engaging in a full elimination diet.
#3 Look at the Big Picture
Digestive troubles aren’t only caused by food. Take a look at the full picture by keeping a detailed journal that documents food and drink, sleep, stress, movement, medications, supplements, and symptoms, so you can better understand what is triggering you. Each one of these things can have an impact on your symptoms. From there, work with your dietitian or medical provider to see the full picture and find patterns. This will help tailor your plan to meet your individual needs.