The Importance of Teamwork, Collaboration, and Advice From Experts


Here are 3 tasty tips from Dr. Carol Ireton-Jones:

1. You can feel better.

The very first thing I like to tell my clients is that you can feel better! So many people have been searching for a solution for their “bad stomach” for so long and have had very few answers. With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) this is quite common. In fact, one of my patients contacted me to be treated for what he thought his doctor called “grumpy guts or something like that”. Besides having a challenging diagnosis, these patients often feel that they are not being heard. As a dietitian who works with GI patients, I listen, provide sound nutrition information, and give encouragement. Though some improvements may be small, I have yet to see a patient that did not improve.


2. Teamwork and collaboration is important in digestive disorders

A team usually consists of a dietitian and a GI physician but can often include other providers and therapies: psychologist, pelvic floor therapist, primary care physician, exercise, relaxation, yoga and more – but most importantly – the client/patient is at the center! The physician may make the diagnosis, but the nutrition care and treatment should come from a qualified registered dietitian. I mean – we love food! And we know about it! I personally work with a Chef who has enjoyed learning about low FODMAP foods – and the sneaky ways FODMAPs come into a meal. Changing a few foods or amounts of a food can make a huge difference in GI function and therefore quality of life. It can be fun to go out again!


3. Find an expert.

This is key! With the vast expansion of common-knowledge of gut health, there are those who claim to be knowledgeable about GI health, the microbiome, fads like food sensitivity testing (no such thing), and more. To make sure you’re receiving evidence-based nutrition care, it’s important to note that only trained clinicians are qualified to make the assessments or recommendations. If it sounds too good to be true…it might be!

Healing journeys, especially when tackling digestive issues, are very individual. There aren’t always a lot of specific answers. Working with a great dietitian and physician (collaboration and support) can provide the best outcomes. They will weather the journey with you. Dr. Michael Weisberg and I just completed a scholarly paper on Management of IBS – Physician-Dietitian Collaboration (Nutrition in Clinical Practice, October 2020). While focused on IBS, the information is related to these tips. If you would like to receive a copy of this article, you can contact me through my website. 

Click here for a directory of RDs that specialize in low FODMAP diets or email [email protected] if you need help with a referral.