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Benefits of Working With a Gut Health Nutritionist

Several uncomfortable symptoms can indicate that you have gut issues. If you suffer from painful bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, or loose stools, you might consider working with a nutritionist specializing in gut health and digestion.
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A gut health nutritionist is an expert in the best nutrition for healthy digestion. A gut nutritionist understands the gut microbiome, "good" gut bacteria, and "bad" gut bacteria. This nutrition professional will be able to create a meal plan for you that optimizes nutrition and limits uncomfortable digestive symptoms.

A gut health nutritionist can help you identify the cause or causes of any issues with your digestive system. Not all digestive problems can be linked to food intolerances or allergies. While some people have digestive issues because of celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or intolerances to certain foods, other factors such as elevated stress levels can also wreak havoc on your digestion. A gut nutritionist has the educational background to help you identify and solve the causes of your digestive issues, and they have the knowledge to recommend nutrient-rich foods that promote healthy bacteria. They can also make recommendations about stress management.

If you suffer from digestive issues and want to improve your overall health and wellness with nutrition, keep reading to learn more about how a gut health nutritionist can help you.

The Bottom Line 

  • What is a gut health nutritionist? A gut health nutritionist has extensive knowledge of strategies to deal with digestive issues. They can help you achieve overall gut wellness through a varied, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
  • What are the benefits of working with a gut health nutritionist? A gut health nutritionist will help you with meal planning by recommending the best foods to support the good bacteria in your gut. They'll recommend specific food groups and meals to help you feel better.
  • How to get started with a gut health nutritionist? If you're looking for a "nutritionist near me," start by taking an easy quiz to help our nutrition specialist understand your concerns. They'll match you with a gut health expert. You'll have the chance to meet with your nutritionist to discuss your needs before beginning virtual nutrition counseling sessions.

A gut health nutritionist is more than the calorie police

The main objective of your gut health nutritionist is to allow you to live a fulfilling life unhindered by digestive issues. While a gut nutritionist can help you lose weight by decreasing caloric intake, that is not necessarily their primary goal. Here are several benefits of working with a gut nutritionist that aren't all about calories.

Improved digestion and gut health

First and foremost, working with a gut nutritionist will improve your digestion. It may not happen overnight, but a gut health nutritionist will give you the tools you need to heal your gut. A gut health nutritionist will create a personalized nutrition plan filled with specific foods that can make a massive difference to your digestion. Some of these foods may contain natural probiotics to balance the gut microbiota in the digestive tract.

A gut nutritionist will strive to ensure you have balance in the foods you eat. They will do this by including fruits, vegetables, and high-quality fiber in your diet and limiting the processed foods you eat. Your gut health specialist can also recommend foods to decrease harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, leading to symptom relief. Working with a gut nutritionist can lessen the severity of symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and loose stools.

Stronger immune system

When you invest in your gut, you're also strengthening your immune system. A healthy gut microbiome is closely tied to the presence of beneficial bacteria, which are vital for a healthy immune system. Conversely, an unhealthy gut microbiome can sometimes lead individuals to develop autoimmune disorders. About 70% of immune cells are housed in the gut.

The status of your immune system can be a reflection of your gut, so it's crucial to eat nutritious foods to improve digestive health and boost your immunity. When you work on improving gut health, you also consume foods that can improve your immune system, like colorful fruits and vegetables and fiber-filled foods. A digestive health nutritionist can give you a better idea of incorporating these foods into your diet to improve your digestion without sacrificing taste. They'll also stress the importance of getting enough water, especially when eating fiber-rich foods.

Improved quality of life  

When you improve your stomach health, you also improve your quality of life. First, you're no longer in pain because of digestive issues like hemorrhoids or constipation. You can also experience better sleep because you'll no longer toss and turn with stomach pain or wake up constantly to use the restroom.

Stomach health is also linked to a person's risk of developing depression or anxiety. That's why stress can make it feel like you've got butterflies in your stomach or a bad stomachache. A digestive health nutritionist can help improve the brain-gut connection.

While improving your diet and digestion isn't a cure-all for everything, improving your stomach health can benefit many aspects of your life. Improved digestion can impact how you sleep while reducing your negative digestive symptoms. Improved stomach health can also give you a chance for improved mental health.

More time for what you love

You spend less time dealing with unpleasant digestive symptoms when you have a healthy digestive system. This could mean avoiding stomachaches, cramps, and other issues that can negatively impact your overall well-being. With the help of a gut nutritionist, you can spend less time worrying about the symptoms of an unhealthy gut. You can avoid turning down plans with friends and family or staying home all day for fear of feeling nauseous or bloated. You may occasionally experience these symptoms, but with the help of a gut nutritionist, they won't dictate your actions and daily routine.

Better understanding of the best foods for your body

Working with an expert on the human digestive tract will ultimately give you a good understanding of the foods that work best for your body. Registered dietitians have professional degrees in clinical nutrition, food science, and related subjects. They have in-depth knowledge of the best foods to help with digestive concerns. A digestive health nutritionist will give you personalized insight into how to improve your lifestyle by improving the health of your digestive system. They will guide you on what to choose when grocery shopping to help you nourish your body in a way that is sensitive to your digestion.

How a gut health nutritionist or dietitian can help you create healthy lifestyle choices:

A gut health nutritionist or dietitian can help you deal with a wide range of digestive issues, including the ones listed below.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common disorder that causes stomach pain, uncomfortable gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Doctors can usually diagnose irritable bowel syndrome through the process of elimination and knowing your symptoms. A nutritionist can help you manage IBS by creating an individualized meal plan. By following their guidance, you can prepare healthy, delicious meals that won't exacerbate your IBS symptoms.  

Chronic bloating and gas

A nutritionist can help you with chronic bloating and gas. Bloating can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. While some bloating is entirely normal, chronic bloating can harm your quality of life. A nutritionist will recommend the best foods to help alleviate bloating and gas, including foods that contain probiotics such as fermented foods, yogurt, certain fruits, and some cheeses.

Constipation and diarrhea 

Constipation and diarrhea can be uncomfortable effects of eating certain foods – especially processed food items – and lifestyle factors. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you identify the best course of action to decrease constipation and diarrhea. A nutritionist will identify ways to increase your fiber intake or recommend certain types of food for digestive health.

Leaky gut

A nutritionist can help you better understand the possible causes and treatments for a leaky gut. Signs of a leaky gut can include diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating. Nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, and stomach pains can also be symptoms. If you have a leaky gut, your nutritionist will probably create a meal plan that limits lectins. Lectins can bind to the cells lining your intestines, disrupting the tight junctions between cells and contributing to a leaky gut.

Food intolerances

It can be challenging to identify food intolerances on your own. A nutritionist can help pinpoint them and improve your health by limiting those foods in your meal plan. Rather than relying on food sensitivity tests that might give you misleading results, a nutritionist can use their expertise to identify food intolerances or sensitivities and advise how to avoid them in your diet.

Colitis and Crohn's

You should avoid certain foods if you have colitis or Crohn's disease. Foods with a lot of fiber can lead to too much activity in the gastrointestinal tract. Certain legumes, including beans, can also aggravate your gastrointestinal tract. A nutritionist can help create a plan specific to your dietary needs if you have colitis or Crohn's disease. 

Heartburn and acid reflux

Heartburn and acid reflux can be debilitating conditions. You may want to avoid fatty or acidic foods if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux. A nutritionist will counsel you on which foods to eat or avoid to lessen the heartburn or acid reflux you experience after eating. 

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when a person has an abnormal increase in bacteria in their small intestine. This happens when food isn't properly digested, and bacteria begin to grow. SIBO makes people constantly bloated, and they may experience symptoms like brain fog, joint pain, fatigue, constipation, or diarrhea. A nutritionist can administer nutrition therapy to help people combat SIBO.

What are the benefits of working with an online gut health nutritionist or dietitian vs. going it alone

Interested in chatting with our nutrition specialist about improving your gut health? Click here to get started.

There are many reasons to work with an online gut health nutritionist or dietitian instead of going it alone. Here are some significant benefits of getting support from an online nutritionist for your digestive issues.

Information specific to you

If you choose to go it alone, you won't get nutrition information specific to you. You may find some helpful information online, but this will be generic guidance. It's impossible to find the correct information if you're unsure about the cause of your stomach concerns. An online nutritionist or dietitian will work with you one-on-one to figure out the cause or causes of your digestive issues and only give you helpful, relevant information. 

Lasting results

By working with a qualified dietitian or nutritionist, you will likely see lasting results in your health goals. A nutritionist will not simply give you a list of foods to avoid, like processed meals or takeout. Instead, your nutritionist or dietitian will provide insight into what your body needs for proper digestion. This will give you the knowledge and understanding to achieve lasting results and overall wellness.

Better quality of life

When you prioritize your health goals and well-being, you can be confident that your quality of life will also increase. Your enjoyment of daily life will improve when you no longer have to plan around constipation, diarrhea, or heartburn. Your quality of life will improve when you can perform physical activity without feeling uncomfortably bloated or on the verge of being sick. You will have the opportunity to live without being hyper-focused on your digestive concerns.

What to ask during your first free consultation with one of our gut health nutritionists

A few topics are helpful to discuss during your first free consultation with Top Nutrition Coaching. These questions can help you decide whether working with an online gut health nutritionist is the right fit for you. 

How should I prepare for a virtual nutrition consultation?

Your nutritionist will be able to tell you the best way to prepare for each consultation. If your nutritionist has asked you to try a specific food or make a lifestyle change, it's a good idea to take notes on how that worked out for you. These notes can help your nutritionist make necessary adjustments to your plan. 

How long will it take for my gut symptoms to go away?

You can ask your nutritionist when you can expect to see results. However, the answer will likely depend on what symptoms you're experiencing – and their severity. It may take time for your nutritionist to identify the root cause (or causes) of your symptoms and how to eliminate or lessen them.

How often will my plan change?

Your nutritionist will likely make periodic adjustments to your plan as they better understand the causes of your digestive concerns. These adjustments will depend on how your body reacts to the dietary adjustments your nutritionist recommends. 

What if I'd like to work with a different nutritionist or dietitian?

If you would feel more comfortable working with another dietitian, share your concerns with our nutrition specialist. Our team members want what's best for you in your health journey. The nutrition specialist will address your concerns and walk you through the simple process of switching to another nutritionist or dietitian. 

Will healing my gut have lasting results?

Based on your concerns, treatment, and causes of your digestive issues, your nutritionist should give you an idea of what long-term solutions they can create for you. Although proper nutrition alone can't alleviate all digestive disorders, your gut health expert can give you the support and guidance you need to change your eating habits and achieve long-lasting results.

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About the author

Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN
I'm a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist with education from Boston University and clinical training from both Brigham & Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I specialize in helping the military and non-military individuals embrace nutrition as a partner in both their mental and physical health.

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