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Here, Gillian Killiner, Principal Dietitian at 121, discusses the Low Fodmap Programme and in particular, why seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Dietitian is key to implementing it successfully.

The Low Fodmap Programme has been around for over 10 years. I heard about it in its infancy and thought: “Wow! This is excellent for gut dysfunction and IBS”. And so in 2010/2011, I packed my bags and returned from Belfast to London on three separate weeks to go back to my training hospital, Guys and St Thomas’s to learn all about it – the first course of its kind outside of Monash University, Australia.

The work load was intense but exciting. After qualifying with my certificate in Low FODMAP practice, I took my first guinea pigs  patients and we followed the information I had learned from the course. I can’t lie, it was hard work and over the 7 years I have been practicing the Low FODMAP programme daily, much has changed in the way I deliver, advise and support because everyone is different. My high success rate of 97% is due to my expertise of using the programme daily.

The gut is not just about absorption – it’s microbiota has a complex network of links to emotions, stress, activity, genetics, medical history, medication, lifestyle, food and fluids…

We as individuals are not all uniform and do not follow the same diet and lifestyle so this is the basis of my increasing frustration and the fiasco I find myself in.

People are coming to me more and more in desperation, telling me they have tried the Low FODMAP programme and it hasn’t worked. AhhHHHHH!! Another emotional boundary to cross.

I have found that with the programme’s popularity and success has come the internet dippers who take a bit from one website that they like and mix it with another and believe they have completed the programme. Wrong…

The other – and most frustrating way that these people are not succeeding – is that they are being handed a “sheet” from their Consultant or GP and left to get on with it. Excuse me… WHAT??? A little more respect to the programme please! A sheet will not get results but in fact dangerously add to people’s fears around food and restriction is dangerous in the wrong hands.


A patient came to me recently and had been told by a health food shop to avoid a major list of foods. She did so and over two years of carefully following the advice she back gravely ill, malnourished, depressed and still her stomach issues continued.

If you have a gut health problem that has not resolved with medication, dietary changes, or visiting a health shop to pay and hold two balls in the air and told to eat very little, don’t despair – do get in touch.

Gillian is an expert in all areas of Gut Health and provides a free, no obligation assessment prior to an appointment

For more information, call Gillian on: 07717392306 or email: info@121dietitian.com. Our NI clinics are located at Bannatyne Health Club, 106 Belfast Road, Holywood, BT18 9QY.

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