National Nutrition Month (March) is a great time to talk about the nutrition practitioners who appear on my Find a FODMAP Dietitian directory. These are credentialed healthcare professionals you can turn to for expert help with your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
I have maintained this directory as a public service since 2012. The listed providers have told me that they consider themselves FODMAPs experts and that they are interested in hearing from potential new clients. Since it is a list of dietitians, you will see the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian), or RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionists) throughout. RDs and RDNs are food and nutrition experts, translating the science of nutrition to applications in real life. We help clients manage their health and achieve wellness through food and nutrition.
Please note that I have not assessed the competence or credentials of dietitians on the directory. I have no way of knowing how focused they are on FODMAPs or what their practices are like. Before you schedule an appointment, there are some questions you can ask that will increase the likelihood of a good match between you and your new dietitian. Start with your gastroenterologist or his referral staff.
- Can your doctor recommend a local dietitian with expertise in FODMAPs and IBS? (Bonus points if they give a vote of confidence to a dietitian on the directory.)
The following information can typically be found on the dietitian's website, or by talking briefly with his or her office staff. It is rarely necessary to speak personally or at length with the dietitian before scheduling. That's what the appointment is for!
- Does your dietitian regularly see patients with your condition? If you are reading this blog, your health issues are likely to be gastrointestinal in nature. If you have another significant condition (like an eating disorder or insulin-dependent diabetes), you should disclose it when you schedule, to make sure you are directed to the dietitian in the clinic who can help you the most.
- Assuming you are using the directory to find a skilled FODMAP practitioner, there should be an indication that your dietitian actually uses FODMAPs as his or her primary dietary approach to managing IBS.
- Does your dietitian recommend direct-to-consumer laboratory tests or sell nutritional supplements? This is a common practice among dietitians who take what is called a "functional" approach to digestive health. It may (or may not) be what you are looking for, so it is a fair question to ask before you schedule.
Armed with these questions, you should be able to identify an RD or RDN who can provide the kind of help you are looking for. If you need to look beyond my directory, try Find An Expert search, a location and condition-based search tool provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.