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Step-by-step management of food sensitive IBS. Joan Breakey, APD (retired) & Ashleigh Jones APD


Irritable bowel syndrome is estimated to affect 1 in 5 Australians and 1 in 7 New Zealanders. Since Sue Shepherds PhD research in 2008 and creation of the Low FODMAP diet, food intolerance is now widely recognised as a significant contributor to IBS.

Using their step-by-step approach, Joan and Ashleigh provide valuable advice on how to identify foods which are causing food intolerance.

Their method involves collecting a detailed patient history. We need to spend time listening to patients, their ideas are valid and many already have a sense of what is causing them problems. This can narrow down the type of elimination diet which may be most useful for our patient. Rather than using ‘a one-size fits all’ approach they explain how using a step-by-step approach, you can tailor the diet to suit your patient. Their steps involve:

  1. Work with your patient to identify suspect foods
  2. Help your patient identify specific symptoms
  3. Take a history of their dietary management – what changes have they already made?
  4. First things first – key ideas to consider before embarking on an elimination diet
  5. The Diet Detective Approach – using the family sensitivity history to find food clues
  6. Designing your patient’s own elimination diet - tailored to their own unique needs
  7. Personalised challenges – food-focused challenges that work for your patient
  8. Your patient’s own best diet – completely individualised to your patient’s needs

Diet therapy with food intolerance is not neat and tidy. Each patient has their own unique history and symptoms.

Joan Breakey, APD (retired) has spent forty years specialising in all food sensitivity symptoms and since 2004 she has focused on IBS. Based on her clinical and research expertise Joan created the diet detective method for food sensitivity investigation. She has written four books which can be used to apply her diet detective method.

Ashleigh Jones, APD works in both private practice and food industry and has been building her experience of people with food intolerances for almost a decade. She works closely with Joan, and co-authored “Your Diet for Your IBS”.

Both Joan and Ashleigh have firsthand experience of food sensitivity and understand the challenges and the significant role of diet.

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