Stomach, bowel & digestion

Nutrition therapy for gastric, intestinal and digestive diseases

Nutrition therapy for gastric, intestinal and digestive diseases (Picture Credits: ©Dan Race/fotolia)

Every tummy hurts now and again. While it shouldn’t usually be a cause of concern, those who experience symptoms for longer periods of time should consult a doctor. Based on medically recognised diagnosis procedures, nutrition therapy can alleviate or even eliminate complaints in a targeted way and thus considerably improve the quality of life, reduce medication dosage if necessary and help prevent secondary diseases.

Food: What – When – How?

Individual nutritional measures versus one-size-fits-all diets

One-size-fits-all diets found on the Internet or in books are very popular. And no wonder! A list-based diet is easy to write and even easier to pass around.

The problem is that simply following lists often leads to ‘tunnel vision’ and faulty conclusions about what might be tolerated and what is not. There is a crucial lack of nutrition-therapeutic competence.

Any short-sighted or non-holistic nutritional measures will have limited results. A holistic perspective considers more than just food. It looks not only at what you eat, but also at what you don’t eat, why you don’t eat it (yet), how you are, how often you eat and how foods are combined in your meals. Other important factors that need to be taken into account include your habits (likes and dislikes) and possibilities in everyday life.

Individual nutrition therapy takes the big picture into account. It is important to avoid unnecessary restriction and to gradually expand the range of foods consumed. Every food has a nutritional value and the nutrients it contributes will create a deficit if they are not somehow substituted. The body can be efficient and vital only when it has the right nutrients in sufficient amounts. Getting these nutrients contributes to a higher quality of life.

Nutrition therapy plans for gastric and intestinal diseases are as unique and individual as the disease itself. There is no blanket nutritional recommendation; the concept is always tailored to the person’s individual symptoms and diagnosis.

The most important goal in nutrition therapy for gastrointestinal and digestive diseases is to alleviate symptoms by changing your diet while avoiding malnutrition from what might be a restricted food intake. Nutrition therapy might also positively influence the course of a disease or its outcome, depending on the illness.

Nutrition therapy process

Step 1: Health and nutritional history

Step 2: Determine key areas of focus for counselling

Step 3: Define counselling period

Step 4: Put plan into action and permanent nutrition

What does nutrition therapy entail?

Step 1: A precise anamnesis as the basis for further procedure

A nutrition therapeutic consultation begins with an assessment of your current diet and any existing complaints or diseases.

  • review of all laboratory and examination results. Bringing copies of medical findings or lab results helps us better evaluate the initial situation.
  • exclusion or consideration of previously unrecognised food intolerances
  • consideration of current medication intake
  • evaluation of the nutrition and symptom diary you brought with you. This daily log makes it easier to uncover connections between diet and symptoms. Your existing nutritional habits are the key to finding the solution best suited to you.
  • identification of stress triggers
  • defining individual goals for nutrition therapy

Food recommendations tailored to your situation will help guide you step-by-step through the therapy concept. You will be given precise instructions as to how to implement these changes in your everyday life.

Step 2: Define key areas for counselling

The procedure for gastrointestinal and digestive diseases takes place at different levels. The overall dietary concept and the focus of advice depend on the individual problem and the diagnosis.

The consultation will shed light on connections between the intolerable substance in food and your diet overall. In addition to providing information, the session will focus on permanent dietary change as a key point for ensuring healthy and enjoyable food consumption.

Step 3: Define the consultation period

You will receive personal advice and support in individual sessions. The duration of the consultation period depends on the goal you want to achieve.

Step 4: Implementation and permanent nutrition

The most important goal of nutritional therapy for food intolerances is to make the largest possible food selection possible. Restrictions should only be made where really necessary. In this way, malnutrition can be avoided and the quality of life can be kept high.

Consultation times

Monday – Thursday: 07.45 am – 12.30 pm
Monday – Thursday: 02.00 pm – 06.00 pm

Making an appointment / telephone consultation hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 12.45 – 01.15 pm

Nutrition therapy is an important complementary treatment for the following diseases:

Esophagus & stomach

  • Reflux esophagitis
  • Gastritis
  • Irritable stomach
  • Condition after gastric surgery
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis



The term “normal bowel movements” covers a wide range. From three times a day to three times a week, everything is in the normal range. When does one speak of constipation? Constipation occurs when there is less spontaneous emptying of the intestine than every three days and / or the stool is too hard, causing problems with weaning. If constipation persists for more than six months, it is called chronic constipation.


Diarrhea is stool that occurs in adults more than three times a day, is increased in quantity and / or thin. In principle, a distinction can be made between sudden onset (acute) and diarrhea that lasts longer than two weeks.

In any case, it is important to medically clarify the cause of the indigestion.

Irritable bowel syndrome / Leaky Gut Syndrome

There are four types of irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Diarrhea type: More than three bowel movements per day
  • Constipation type: Weekly fewer than three bowel movements
  • Pain type: cramp-like pain caused by excessive bowel movement
  • Meteorism type: flatulence

Flatulence – all just hot air?

The food selection and the preferred nutritional style do not always match the physiological abilities of our body. Knowledge of physiological processes and reliable knowledge of pure organ physiology are helpful here. That is why nutrition therapy is also about the “physiology consultation”.

The leaky-gut barrier syndrome

The term leaky gut is more important in irritable bowel syndrome (RDS) than in food allergy. Leaky-gut means permeable bowel. The intestinal barrier function is no longer intact here. As a barrier between the outside world and the body, it is decided which substances are absorbed and which are not. If the barrier function or the permeability of the intestine is changed, complaints can result.

Leaky Gut syndrome is not the cause of persistent bowel problems. Rather, other causes must be primarily considered.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis represent a particular challenge for the specific food selection of those affected. Typical symptoms such as indigestion, stool irregularities, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and weight loss are directly associated with eating, since they often occur after eating. As a result, there is great uncertainty about what they can eat and drink to avoid complaints and malnutrition on the one hand. Because poor nutritional status has an unfavorable effect on disease activity.

Qualified nutritional therapy makes an important contribution to improving the quality of life of those suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. However, it is wrong to believe that there is a common dietary concept for IBD. Successful nutritional therapy must take the individual circumstances of the person concerned into account to a high degree.

Rectal diseases

Diverticular disease

Diverticular disease – whether uncomplicated or complicated, raises questions in nutritional therapy. As long as the diverticula do not cause any complaints, no diverticulum wearer notices that he already has them. Knowledge of the prevention of diverticulitis is important. Because woe when the diverticula become inflamed and complications arise.

Fissures, hemorrhoids, skin tags and proctitis

Fissures, hemorrhoids, skin tags and proctitis – often concealed – but present. Such inflammations and anatomical changes in the rectum significantly limit the quality of life of those affected. They cause stool emptying disorders, which in turn have a significant impact on nutritional therapy work.

Short bowel syndrome

Liver / gallbladder pancreas

  • NAFLD – non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Gallstones
  • Condition after gallbladder removal
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) acute or chronic

Intestinal cleansing

Diet plays a key role in the composition of our intestinal flora. A nutrition therapist takes a close look at your current nutritional situation, clinical picture and symptoms to develop and guide a nutritional plan that protects your intestinal mucous membrane.

Implementing such a plan helps preserve or restore healthy intestinal flora and stabilise or stimulate the intestine-connected immune system. Like the change in diet, the choice of probiotic depends on the clinical picture, symptoms, medication taken and, if necessary, the findings of a stool sample.

Gaby Lingath