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The digestive system is complex and integral to overall health and wellbeing. Symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating and gas can be embarrassing, debilitating and have a detrimental impact on your life. As a clinical nutritionist, I can assist with these symptoms, SIBO, IBS, IBD, Celiac disease, food intolerances or allergies and so much more.
Nutritional interventions such as changes in diet, supplementation of particular nutrients, prebiotics and probiotics and lifestyle interventions can significantly improve digestive symptoms. By taking a holistic approach, I take into consideration the function and structure of the digestive system, factors impacting the absorption of nutrients and any potential infections or inflammation factors. I am determined to address the root cause of your concerns so you can enjoy food freedom without fear of having a reaction, where possible.
An evidenced-based approach to digestive health
In the clinic, I use an evidence-based approach. An evidence-based approach to practice involves staying across the latest research and implementing this for your benefit. This includes research on the causes of mental health concerns and the supplements and interventions that have demonstrated improvements. By taking this approach, you receive the best care possible.
The gut microbiome
The gut microbiome contains thousands of bacterial species and has an impact on immune function, mental health, and of course, digestion. Particular bacteria in the microbiome have been linked to the cause of many digestive conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and IBS. By addressing these bacteria and improving the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria, a remarkable improvement can be seen in digestive health. Addressing the composition of the gut microbiome is delicate work that should only be undertaken with the assistance of a practitioner such as myself due to the risks involved.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that can be found in the lining of the stomach and is most often acquired before the age of 5. Approximately 30% of Australians have H. pylori however the number may be higher than this, with some people being asymptomatic or not being tested. This infection leads to increased inflammation in the digestive system, which can impact the digestion of food, the absorption of nutrients and cause symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain and nausea. As a clinical nutritionist, I can work with you to determine if testing for H. pylori should be considered, and if it is found, how to address the infection and rebuild the gut microbiome.
Lifestyle factors and digestion
Lifestyle factors such as stress, time taken to chew foods, the time between meals, size of meals, and hydration can impact digestion and the function of the gastrointestinal system. Looking into the gut-brain axis and the vagus nerve can improve digestive health by addressing the root cause. In a nutrition consultation, we have enough time to discuss your lifestyle and how we can improve your digestion by addressing these factors.
Why see a clinical nutritionist?
As a clinical nutritionist, I can order functional testing such as gut microbiome mapping and intolerance testing if this is of interest or applicable to you. These tests can provide valuable insight into your health and reduce the guesswork required to determine the root cause of your digestive complaints. Functional testing can be expensive and will only be recommended in appropriate circumstances. However, if this isn’t in your budget, we can address your concerns in other ways.
The supplements, such as nutrients, prebiotics and probiotics, I can prescribe are practitioner-grade and not available over the counter. This is because they are in a higher dose and are more absorbable than the supplements available at the chemist or supermarket. Practitioner-grade supplements often work out to be more cost-effective as the dosage is correct to have an impact, and the guesswork is taken out of trying to find the right supplement for your health.
Many people have been diagnosed with a digestive condition that doesn’t have a cure. Although we may not be able to alleviate this concern, there are other ways a clinical nutritionist can help. We can look at your nutrient absorption and the management of your condition to improve overall health and wellbeing. As a clinical nutritionist, I can work with any medications you’re taking or structural concerns like stomas.
I understand for most people, food is about more than just fuelling your body. A restrictive diet approach is a last resort and is only recommended if it is supported by research. I understand it is important for you to have that social outlet with friends and family, and won’t tell you that you can’t enjoy your favourite foods anymore unless it is contributing to your health concerns. I am determined to work with you to improve your health, and therefore our treatment plan has to work for you as well.