Fibromyalgia Action UK
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What is a dietician? Have u ever wondered this, whether a dietician could help u, or whether you'd be entitled to see one? Here's ur insight

What is a dietician? Have u ever wondered this, whether a dietician could help u, or whether you'd be entitled to see one? Here's ur insight

Hi everyone,

Just thought anyone who has IBS or other gastrointestinal conditions, and difficulty managing their symptoms, who may be considering cutting foods out of their diet, or may have tried everything and nothing so far worked may find this helpful.

It is not specific advice about iBS, but it explains exactly what a dietician does, how their professional expertise differs from a 'nutritionist', what sorts of conditions they help with, who may be eligible for a referral, and how to get referred.

Worth knowing all this if you didn't already.

Hope everyone's ok.


6 Replies

Hi I was sent to dietician in the early days when they thought I had some form of arthritis and I went 3 times and I don't know if it was just the one I saw but everything I had read about food ,she basically told me was unproven I,e med diet avoid certain foods etc ,I came away each time wondering why I bothered ,I know stick to mainly fish type diet and stay away from process foods as I find the later really upsets my system along with white bread unless it has know artificiall additives in it ,also I stay away from artificiall sweetness and diet drinks ,I got a arwful lot of help from the pain clinic ,and they did a section on we are what we eat , I can recommend that as it has helped me a lot more than anything else in the last 4 years.

Hope my imput helps Chris x


Hi Shadows-walker, sorry to hear u had a bad experience. Did u have an IBS diagnosis at the time? As if not that may be why the dietician didn't know what specific advice to give you as they tailor advice to the patient's diagnosed condition (unless in the case of symptom producing food intolerances where if appropriate a dietician can help to do a careful safe eliminatIon diet to work out which foodstuff is the culprit for the symptoms, and thereby helping the doctor to work out the diagnosis).

It also depends on what specialist experience the individual dietician you saw had, as like doctors some dieticians have specialist expertise in certain areas.

But for anyone with IBS diagnosed, which they're unable to manage symptoms of alone, or the patient even without IBS has found that they suffer with other food intolerances that cause significant symptoms, a dietician should be able to help.

I'm not belittling your experience, as i know a significant few health professionals whatever their speciality can leave a lot to be desired, particularly in the case of poorly understood conditions and i'm really sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I'm glad to hear that you've managed to find a dietary approach that helps you, that's the main thing! :-)

If in future your self-measures are not working well as you said they are now, and your symptoms are causing big problems/a big impact on your life and you don't know what you should or shouldn't eat, then you could ask for a diagnosis to another dietician who hopefully would be more help than the one you saw before.

Best wishes,



Thank you so much for sharing this Starbys, I found it really interesting and very useful. I am Lactose Intolerant and I am also allergic to many food stuffs including sofa, red fruits, bananas, saccharin and none food stuffs, latex. I had an episode of Urticaria M28 a few years ago due to eating Chinese food and wearing rubber pumps without socks. I was in hospital for over a week.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x


Hi Ken, i'm glad u found this helpful. I think there is a lot people don't know about dieticians and a lot of people assume they wouldn't be eligible for help when they would actually so thought people may like this.

that must be really difficult for u being allergic to so much, sorry to hear that. That urticaria M28 sounds nasty too! Hope u never get that again, at least now u know the trigger.

take care and thanks for your message,

Starbys :-)


Saw a dietician about 10 tears ago when IBS was making life difficult. She offered two possible solutions. The first one was to cut out all wheat and dairy for 5 days and then reintroduce one item at a time. Eat that item twice a day for 3 days and if no reaction carry on and reintroduuce a second item from the other group. So fist item wheat, second item dairy. And so on until those items which upset you have been identified and can be eliminated from your diet. The second method was much more thorough but much harder to achieve. It was a 6 week programme replacing all the foods you eat one ata time. It starts with eating only leaf veg, potatoes and either boiled fish or grilled chicken for 5 days, cooked in bottled water! Then the first thing you reintroduce id tap water. Then you do as above reintroducing one item from each food group in rotation. It worked for me because i was retired and could concentrate on the programme. Very hard to manage if you are working or travelling or caring for other appetites. My IBS is under control apart from occasional glare ups and self inflicted bad diet.

1 like

Hi, I've been under a dietician for about 18 months now and find it helping. From cutting out food items one at a time, I now know I can't tolerate lectin which is in potatoes and such like and allergic to gluten. Sticking to the diet has resulted in flares that are spaced out.- if it makes sense-. I can't drive to her, so we have a phone consultation, detailed about 45 minutes. She's prescribed different supplements which help and we have 6 weekly check ups. She's not cheap at £60.00 half an hour, but I wouldn't do without her. Just thought I'd share. Gentle hugs to you all. xx


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