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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it common to still have symptoms after being GF for years?

    I had great results at first from a GF diet after diagnosis, but in the last couple of years (particularly the last year) I have suffered from a lot of bloating, constipation, reflux/gastritis. I never really experienced many stomach issues before diagnosis, my symptoms included migraines, anaemia, mouth ulcers, fatigue and just generally not feeling well. But now I seem to be battling with these gut issues all the time. I've tried cutting out lactose too, which seems to help at first and then I'm back to the start. I recently saw a nutritionist that recommended a magnesium supplement and probiotics, and a more regular diet- making sure I have breakfast etc. This all seemed to be working, and then they gave me a 'gut relief' supplement as well. After having that 3 times my reflux returned. This could have been coincidence of course. I stopped taking that 2 weeks ago and now I have severe bloating, constipation, pressure again. I'd appreciate ANY help, as it's driving me mad!
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Clare Wolski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm Clare and I'm a passionate Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD). I love empowering people with good nutrition information so they can make the best decisions … View Profile

    Hi there! 

    Really interesting question. It sounds like you have been through quite a journey with gastro-intestinal issues and I can totally understand your confusion. 

    Our GI tract is hugely complicated and figureing out what foods cause symptoms is made more difficult by the complex chemical nature of food. It is hard to know which component of the food is causing the symptoms. 

    For symptoms of bloating and constipation the first things that I would consider at your fluid and fibre intake and physical activity. Fibre is the indigestable parts of plants. Fluid and fibre work together in your gut to help your poo form a soft but solid mass. If you can consistently consume about 25-30g of fibre each day you are much less likely to have pressure, bloating and difficulty passing stool. The best sources of fibre are fruit, vegetables and whole grains. 

    If your fibre and fluid are on track but your still having symptoms of IBS, it can be good to invesitgate food intolerances. Many people have intolerances to FODMAPs (fermentable sugars) or food chemicals that can result in the symptoms you have described. When investigating these intolerances there is a process of elimination and challenges which helps to give you clear answers. 

    I would recommend speaking to a Accredited Practising Dietitian and discussing some of the following: 

    • Your usual pattern of eating - working out how much fibre and fluid you're currenlty having
    • Find small tweaks and swapps to ensure your eating enough fibre and fluid
    • The process of a FODAMP elimination and challenge diet
    • Other possible intolerances (salysilates, amines, food chemicals)

    I know that IBS symptoms can be a really impact your life and the more systematic you can be with invesitgating the cause, the more control you will have over your symptoms in the long run. 

    I hope this is helpful. 

    Warm regards, 

    Clare Wolski 

    Accredited Practisin Dietitian

  • 1


    Emma Oliver

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you so much for your reply! I will definitely look into everything you said, I have recently had some bloodwork done and have an ultrasound coming up just to rule out any other nasties. But I think it is most likely coeliac related. I had no idea of the permanent damage it could cause :( 

    Hopefully I'll get it under control soon! 

    Thank you again 


  • Anonymous

    I have had great relief from a fodmap friendly diet, I highly recommend it, all the details are on the Monash University website. Also eating less processed foods and more wholefoods, smaller amounts at each sitting. I also have used slippery elm bark, L-glutamine, yoghurt which has live probiotics (better than a tablet form) , and physillium husks for extra fibre.

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