Member Spotlight

Bridging the gap between GI disorders and nutrition


The gluten-free section in the grocery store didn’t exist when Renee Euler, MS, RD, LD, was diagnosed with celiac disease 30 years ago. A physician handed her a fax about the gluten-free diet from a national support group and said: “Here, read this.”

There was no Google to inform decisions. Patients had to rely on fact sheets or a book from the library.

Courtesy Erin Smith

Renee Euler

“I didn’t realize how much nutrition was going to change my world,” said Ms. Euler, who worked as a landscape architect for 15 years before making a pivotal decision to go back to school and train as a dietitian.

Volunteering as a support group leader, and volunteering with the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center guided this important career change. Ms. Euler discovered she enjoyed teaching people how to live a gluten-free life and that they could enjoy travel and social functions while adhering to dietary restrictions.

Navigating celiac disease isn’t easy, even today. It can be very socially isolating for people. Dietitians can help bridge the gap between diagnosis and important lifestyle changes, she emphasized.

Ms. Euler has made it her life’s work to navigate GI disorders with physicians and patients alike.

She runs her own business, Nutrition Redefined, in Albuquerque and is the chair of the National Celiac Association Celiac/Gluten Intolerance Support Group in Albuquerque. Previously, she chaired the Dietitians in Medical Nutrition Therapy Dietetic Practice Group, a part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In an interview, she talked about the unique dietary struggles people with celiac and other gastrointestinal conditions face, and the strategies she uses to help these patients overcome hurdles and live a more normal life.

Q: What fears did you have to push past to get to where you are in your career?

Ms. Euler: Leaving a successful career as a landscape architect and going back to school was definitely a huge hurdle. When I started my practice in 2017, in my area there were no outpatient GI dietitians providing specialized care for adults with conditions like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). I was starting out with no real support.

Realizing that I was going to start a private practice of my own to help the people I wanted to help, was another big fear. “Am I going to succeed? Am I going to fail? What’s going to happen?” But over the years, my practice has grown as I learned to bill insurance and started receiving referrals from a large local GI practice, both of which have been the keys to my success. I have also limited my practice to GI clients so that I can focus my attention on this specialized area of nutrition and stay up to date on the latest developments.

Q: What interests you about the intersection between diet and GI disorders?

Ms. Euler: It’s not just about diet. We’re learning so much about how the gut microbiome can have a potential impact [on other parts of our health]. It’s interesting in terms of how we respond to certain foods, for instance, could affect our mental health. This especially applies to IBS and how the microbiome might be connected to these conditions.


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