Gut health specialist in
Central New South Wales
Orange, Dubbo & Telehealth
Since graduating I have spent a number of years honing my skills in the area of Diet and Gastrointestinal Disorders – largely because I have experienced long term IBS and SIBO, and recently 1 of my children was diagnosed with Coeliac disease. This has given me extensive first hand knowledge of what it is like to live with a chronic bowel problem as well as having a child with a life-long bowel problem that has to be managed through diet. Consequently, I am passionate about helping clients receive up-to-date evidence based information about gut health, as well as practical common sense solutions that will help make the journey towards health as easy as possible – when the journey is often hard and frustrating.
As an Accredited Practising Dietitian with further training from Monash University in implementing the Low FODMAP Diet, as well as training through Crohn’s and Colitis Australia in managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Coeliac Disease, I have been trained to assess and manage complex gut issues, and in collaboration with you can come up with a plan to tackle the root cause. This will often involve a diet in the early stages as we try to work out what foods you can handle, but often also involves restoring the microbiome.
A healthy gut = a healthier you.
Our digestive tract is responsible for breaking down and absorbing nutrients from the food we eat. If we have a poorly functioning gut – either due to an organic issues, such as Crohn’s disease or Coeliac Disease, or due to a functional problem such as Irritable bowel syndrome or microbiome imbalances, then our ability to break down and digest our food is significantly reduced and can lead to poor health. My focus as a Dietitian specialising in Gastrointestinal Health is on improving your Gut Health, managing any health complications and helping you improve your diet so you know what foods you can and can’t tolerate – and hopefully over time, you can incorporate more foods back into your diet without symptoms.
Symptoms of poor gut and bowel health that a Dietitian can assist with include:
- Bloating, Indigestion or Constipation
- Reflux, nausea, vomiting
- Abdominal Discomfort
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
- Excess Wind and Flatulence
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Stomach Ulcers
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known struggle, known suffering, known loss, and found their ways out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Common gut health related disorders.
The digestive system is very sensitive to extreme changes. If you have dramatically changed your diet, whether it be for health or weight-loss reasons, or you have certain intolerances that in the past have made it difficult to eat the foods your body requires, your gut health could have been tipped off balance. This can cause many symptoms that lower your quality of life and ruin your relationship with food. Fortunately, they are treatable. I am able to help you find help from these symptoms:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition that is experienced differently from person to person. It affects the large intestines causing a combination of abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or more. Unfortunately, for most, IBS is a chronic condition and will be something they have to manage on a long-term basis.
Fortunately, IBS can be managed. There are multiple strategies available and a comprehensive assessment will enable me to tailor a dietary and treatment strategy appropriate to your situation
DIARRHOEA AND CONSTIPATION
When it occurs infrequently, occasional diarrhoea is not a problem. However, if it occurs frequently it could lead to dehydration or other serious health problems. It often occurs due to bacterial infections or viruses, or due to chronic conditions like IBS. If you experience frequent diarrhoea it may be a sign of bad gut health.
Constipation can often be prevented simply by changing your diet. If you reduce your consumption of dairy, alcohol, and caffeine, you may also reduce the occurrence of constipation. However, sometimes health conditions can cause constipation including diabetes, IBS and hypothyroidism.
BLOATING AND INDIGESTION:
Bloating and indigestion can be painful for those who experience it. While you are bloated your belly will feel swollen, and often leads to excessive gas production. Indigestion includes discomfort or a burning sensation in your chest. Both generally occur soon after you have eaten or drunk. Usually both are conditions that you do not need to worry about. However, if they occur regularly, they may require a diet change to alleviate.
EXCESSIVE WIND AND FLATULENCE:
Excessive flatulence can be uncomfortable or embarrassing. It also my indicate issues within your diet or lifestyle. While there is no normal amount of times a person will pass wind, if it seems more excessive than normal there may be problems with your gut health. More wind than usual could also relate to health conditions such as IBS.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can lead to abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhoea, malnutrition and weight loss. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can range from mild to severe, but aren’t always present, instead appearing in occasional flare-ups. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, however it can be managed through dietary changes. As Crohn’s disease affects each person differently, it is important that your new diet is tailored to your individual needs.
Why is Gut Health Important?
The gut is an important system within your body that, when out of balance, can severely affect your body functions and health. As the main entry point for nutrients into your body, an unhealthy gut can affect your health across your body including cardiovascular, and mental health.
Your gut is connected to almost every part in your body, and so, plays a vital role in keeping you healthy and happy. Your entire digestive system relies on having a balance of good and bad bacteria. The foods we eat, and our lifestyle all effect this balance. An imbalance can cause food intolerances, mental health problems, and other diseases. When you have a good balance, your gut will continue sending positive signals to your brain improving your overall health and happiness.
Research has shown that the gut and brain are closely linked, effecting both our overall health and mood. Which is why it is common for those with gut and bowel disorders like IBS to experience mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. With millions of tiny nerves constantly telling your brain how your gut is feeling, it is no wonder a healthy gut leads to a happier healthier you.
That is why I work to help balance your gut, improving your overall health and wellbeing. I also go further than this, working with your medical practitioner to work out what is the underlying cause of your gut disorder in the first place, so we can prevent relapse and work towards restoring complete health to your digestive tract.
I don’t usually quote myself, but very few people know…. I went back to University at 35 because I was in the throws of an 8 year battle with IBS. My commitment and passion to helping people with IBS and Gastrointestinal Issues arose because I completely understand how hard it is when you feel you aren’t being heard or understood. No one else can feel your pain or know what you are going through, particularly when they haven’t been through it themselves. I am so driven to learn all I can about Gastrointestinal Health because I know just how debilitating it can be.
How does a Dietitian help my gut health?
A dietitian has extensive training in many evidence based treatments and diets related to the gastrointestinal tract. Afterall – as a dietitian I am dealing with food, and food is absorbed in the Gastrointestinal tract, so this is the main organ I am trained in. My expertise lies with listening to you to come up with a plan that not only is relevant to your diagnosis, but also fits with your lifestyle, budget, social life, work needs …. As a dietitian, I take a food first approach with each of my clients, focusing on how food (or changing the foods you are eating) can improve your health and wellbeing. This approach is designed to help relieve your symptoms, helping you feel better from the inside out.
As a Dietitian accredited by the Dietitian’s association of Australia, you can expect me to take an evidence-based approach to your gut health program. Through my extensive knowledge, continuous learning and evidence backed research, I will provide an eating program that will not only reduce the symptoms but will restore your enjoyment of food. During and after the program you will have my full support and I can assist you in dealing with any challenges you encounter transitioning onto your new diet.
For those clients interested in Microbiome Analysis, I work with Microba in Brisbane to provide up-to-date cutting edge analysis of the Microbiome. While this is not diagnostic, it gives a fantastic insight into the gut microbiome and can be a wonderful way to motivate dietary change towards better health.
Microba is an Australian company working to create a community of greater health. Built on leading scientific research, Microba has established itself as a world leader in the analysis of the gut microbiome. With a growing body of global research indicating that the gut microbiome plays a central role in health and disease, Microba is a strong contributing force in the development of new pathology services, therapeutics and diagnostics based on the microbiome.
For more information see:
With the information gained from the Microba report, I am able to give personalised food, prebiotic and probiotic advice to help you restore or improve your microbiome. Over the past few years I have done extra training through both Microba and Dr Jason Hawrelak so that I can both understand and advise patients on how to improve their microbiome through diet. I have been infinitely encouraged that dietary changes, i.e. including more fibre and reducing processed foods, can have a significant and positive effect on the microbiome very quickly. Knowing what these bugs do, how they impact on our health and how we can feed them to keep us healthy is an area of ever growing research, but ultimately one that we can impact easily and quickly.