Help With Gut Issues

Sylvia is a professional member of Coeliac NZ, member of the Medical Advisory Panel, and a regular contributor to the Coeliac Link Magazine with a special interest in living gluten-free.

The main difference for people with coeliac disease or other forms of gluten-triggered autoimmunity is they must be much more vigilant about gluten exposure – down to trace amounts. It can be very challenging starting out on a gluten-free diet since gluten is rampant in our food supply and often hidden in unexpected products.

If you would like support with living gluten-free, I am able to help in the following areas:

  • Newly diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and need to get started on a gluten-free die
  • Nutrition planning and meal ideas
  • Troubleshooting cross-contamination
  • Label reading
  • Ongoing digestive issues (IBS, bloating, irregular bowel habits), despite doing all the “right things”
  • Immune problems (seem to be getting sick all the time)
  • Fatigue
  • Other autoimmune issues (thyroid, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes)
  • Multiple food sensitivities or intolerances

Feel free get in touch to arrange a consultation by clicking below.

Frequently Asked Questions

I or my child has recently been diagnosed coeliac, does this mean the whole family needs to become gluten-free?

Choosing to become gluten-free as a family is totally personal choice. Some families find it simpler to make all family meals gluten-free but then have smaller items such as breads for other family members clearly labelled.

When only one family member is eating gluten-free, it’s often a good idea to separate out the pantry and fridge to make it clear which food items are safe and to prevent cross-contamination.

There’s no evidence to suggest that kids growing up gluten-free are nutritionally disadvantaged. In fact, a whole-food diet that’s innately gluten-free can be equally [or more] nutrient-dense than a conventional diet. If you’re unsure about missing out on nutrients, it’s best to look at in in a whole diet context with a registered dietitian.


I always check for gluten-free when I eat out but keep getting sick, what am I doing wrong?

Eating out can be a major problem for people with CD. There’s no mandatory regulation for restaurants when labelling food as gluten-free. This means cross-contamination can be a problem in food outlets that don’t have a specific process to prevent this. It is important for a person with CD to feel confident questioning staff around their processes to prevent cross-contamination. One good example is to consider it a warning sign if you see gluten-free muffins and regular muffins sitting next to each other in a display cabinet – it’s likely cross-contamination has occurred.


Ongoing gut problems since going gluten-free, what else can I do?

Often people don’t fully rebound after removing gluten because of other underlying gut issues. This can be because of inflammation, damage to the gut lining, and changes in the gut microbiome, overall altering the way we process food and nutrients. Swapping to a whole-food, minimally processed diet is a good starting point to nurture the microbiome and gut lining. This means you should avoid processed refined foods such as sugar, grains (gluten-free breads and cereals), and processed oils. Full your diet with whole-foods which are innately gluten-free such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. If these issues are still not clearing up, then it’s best to speak with a dietitian to get to the bottom of what else can be done with diet.


My doctor tested me negative for CD but I know gluten upsets my body, is there any risk to eating gluten-free if I’m not coeliac?

If eating a whole-food diet, which means choosing mostly natural minimally processed foods, there should be no nutritional disadvantage to living gluten-free.

One of the problems with self-diagnosis is the uncertainty around trace exposure, cross contamination. If a person isn’t diagnosed it’s easy to get caught by thinking that a “one-off” exposure won’t hurt. Since there’s no consensus around how to clearly determine non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, it ends up being totally up to the individual to determine what is a safe level of exposure based on personal experience and health history.

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