hi, i'm vanessa hummel
An Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and FODMAP expert Accredited Practising Dietitian. I help women take control of their IBS and break free from bloating, constipation and diarrhoea for GOOD.
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. My heritage is Italian, and I have a large Italian family. My childhood memories include my grandmother and I spending time cooking together. She taught me how to make all the traditional Italian foods like pasta, pizza, bread, and biscuits, which is where my passion for food and cooking began. This came in very handy after being diagnosed with IBS as I had to get creative in the kitchen and now love being able to create new delicious recipes.
Over 20 years ago, i was just like you...
I struggled with painful bloating, stomach pain, and alternating constipation and diarrhoea. I was only 16 years old and my GP basically told me that it was all in my head and that if I did not start eating they would admit me to the hospital as they thought I had an eating disorder. I felt so upset and alone that no one believed me, so I tried cutting out foods on my own.
3 years went by, and I tried another GP. They said, “you have IBS”. I thought FINALLY, I’m not crazy, it’s not all in my head! But they did not give me any specific information and I still felt confused and overwhelmed.
My symptoms continued to get worse, to the point where they were interfering and preventing me from going to university and work. I was also now experiencing frequent migraines, severe eczema, extreme fatigue and all-over body pain.
I spent years seeing GPs and gastroenterologists, but I still did not get to the bottom of what was causing my symptoms. I even resorted to drinking aloe vera juice and taking probiotics. But the problem did not go away. In fact, it got worse!
The Problem I had was...
That there was a lack of support and guidance and I was made to feel like my symptoms were all in my head. No one understood what I was going through or was able to give me a step-by-step roadmap. I knew that I needed strategies that were tailored to me, not another quick fix!
After all medical tests were exhausted I was referred to a dietitian. I did not know much about dietitians back then so was very sceptical about whether they would be able to help. They recommended I try an elimination diet and after 3 weeks on the diet I felt amazing and “normal” for the first time in years.
Finally, after more than 10 years of doctors not believing me I had the answers I had been looking for, which never would have happened if I had not been referred to a dietitian.
Then I realised...
I did not have to live with debilitating gut symptoms that controlled my life. I discovered that managing IBS can be easy when you have the right strategies in place. Breaking free from IBS was about so much more than just food or taking medications.
I have backed up my passion for finding long-term relief from IBS with an extensive education. I have a Bachelor of Science, Master of Human Nutrition and a Master of Dietetics and over 10 years experience in the nutrition industry.
I specialise in IBS and the FODMAP diet and have also completed the Monash University, The FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Course to become a Monash trained and certified IBS and FODMAP expert dietitian.
I have also mentored dietitians who are provisionally accredited to move through to full accreditation as part of the Accredited Practising Dietitian Program and supervised student dietitians on their university placements.