Welcome to the monthly eNewsletter of the 
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD)

Digestive Health Monthly - March 2018
 

March is National Nutrition Month.

For many people with a chronic digestive condition, food and eating can have a profound affect on symptoms. Many people find that their symptoms get worse following a meal, and certain foods may exacerbate or alleviate symptoms. More confusing, a food may cause distress one day but not another or even have different affects at different times in a single day.

Among the most common questions individuals with a digestive disorder have is what foods to avoid. The search for answers may lead a person to go looking for a special diet or test to sort it out. But, the bewildering amount of often conflicting advice available, especially online, can create more questions than answers. 

This month we're talking about the role of food in the symptom management of chronic digestive disorders. But, while some general recommendations exist, it is often helpful to consult with a registered dietitian (RD) or other nutrition support specialist, such as a physician or therapist. That person can help you identify your triggers and design a dietary plan to meet your individual needs. 
Maintaining Good Nutrition with Gastroparesis

For individuals with gastroparesis, getting adequate nutrition can be a challenge. Due to impaired gastric emptying, affected individuals may not be able to consume enough food and liquids to get the necessary calories, vitamins, minerals, and fluids or absorption of nutrients may be diminished.

While more research is needed, nutrition strategies for gastroparesis aim to prevent further delay of gastric emptying in order to reduce symptoms and ensure the best possible nutrition.
Research Corner:
Meet Clinical Researcher Bill Chey, MD

Dr. Chey, director of the GI Nutrition and Behavioral Wellness Program at the University of Michigan and course director of FOOD: The Main Course to Digestive Health, has worked to broaden our understanding of the role of food and eating in the expression of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. His research has been instrumental to the crafting of food-centered techniques to manage symptoms.

In this video from the ACG 2015 meeting for medical professionals, Dr. Chey discusses diet as a growing management strategy for disorders of the GI tract. 
Sophie's Story

"Then the puzzle pieces came together [and]... I was officially diagnosed with IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects between 10 to 15 percent of people worldwide. Yet, much about IBS remains unknown, leading to misdiagnosis and mistreatment in some cases. 
  
For 15-year-old Sophie, receiving a diagnosis of IBS provided the much-needed validation that her symptoms weren't "all in her head." Read Sophie's story.
Getting Enough Calcium with Lactose Intolerance

Milk and other dairy products are a major source of calcium, a nutrient essential for the growth and repair of bones. But, for individuals with lactose intolerance, getting enough calcium in a diet that includes little or no dairy products may be a concern. 

The good news is that many non-dairy foods are rich sources of calcium, including dark green vegetables such as broccoli, supplemented non-dairy milk substitutes, and fish with soft, edible bones, such as salmon or sardines. Find more  calcium-rich non-dairy foods
What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols) are short-chain carbohydrates that may worsen symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, and other bowel symptoms in some people with IBS. 

But, not all FODMAPs affect everyone in the same way and a number of health benefits have been attributed to some FODMAPs. T o help those with IBS identify which FODMAPs are problematic for them, researchers developed a diet that restricts and then gradually reintroduces FODMAPs back into the diet. Learn more.  
Advocate for Digestive Disorders

Earlier this month, IFFGD gathered with digestive health advocates from across the United States to educate legislators about the needs of the millions of Americans affected by chronic digestive disorders and to ask for their support of research into these conditions by cosponsoring HR 1187, The Functional Gastrointestinal & Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act.  

Learn more about how you can take action. 
IFFGD is a nonprofit organization. We rely on donor support to fund research and to provide reliable information and support to those affected by functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders.


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