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Let's Gut Real - Easy to Digest Nutrition Science

Making nutrition science accessible and easy-to-digest. Andrea Hardy, Canada’s Gut Health Dietitian, is on a mission to connect people to credible, up-to-date nutrition information about gut health and digestive disorders. Nutrition misinformation is rampant. If nutrition advice online scares you, it’s probably not true. Let’s Gut Real is all taking the fear out of nutrition messaging, cultivating critical thinking, and helping you understand nutrition science. Andrea talks with guests about digestive health, the gut microbiome, hot nutrition topics, and nutrition misinformation, sharing messages that are easy to consume and that inspire sustainable action. Andrea likes to say her goal is to get people to take nutrition a little less seriously – which may come as a surprise coming from a dietitian. Through humour, she injects fun into her science-based media messages. After all, poop jokes aren’t her favourite kinda jokes, but they are a solid #2.

Oct 11, 2022

Did you know that it is more common to have anxiety and depressive symptoms if you have IBS compared to if you don’t have IBS?

This week I interview dietitian Heidi Staudacher to discuss how patients can often end up in a vicious cycle where they have gastrointestinal symptoms that lead to mental health problems and then that further leads to more gut symptoms.

Heidi Staudacher is an accredited practising dietitian and has had extensive experience in the clinical management of people with clinically functional gastrointestinal disorders. Heidi completed her PhD at King’s College London in 2016 in which she investigated the use of the low FODMAP diet in irritable bowel syndrome and its impact on symptoms, the microbiota and diet quality. Her research interests include understanding the effect of different dietary components on gut microbiota, and therapeutic diets for gut disorders and their influence on gut microbial composition. She is passionate about conducting high quality research in the field of diet and gut health.

We talk about:

  • How Staudacher became interested in the area of functional gut disorders and mental health
  • The prevalence of mental health disorders in IBS
  • How IBS impacts mental health
  • Whether or not developing IBS predisposes individuals to developing mental health issues
  • How it is the chicken or the egg when it comes to mental health and IBS
  • How so many patients have heard the phrase ‘it’s all in your head’ and how the onus is placed on patients to ‘fix’ their IBS and how distressing that can be
  • How patients have often felt like it’s their own fault through challenges with their mental health that they have IBS
  • How nutrition influences mental health in IBS
  • Some interventions for IBS that have been shown to improve mental health
  • Whether or not changing the gut microbiota might influence mental health and IBS.
  • The role of probiotic, prebiotics, and dietary changes in order to change the gut microbiota
  • The influence of diet on mental health in IBS. Including the impact of disordered eating and eating disorders
  • The big take aways clinicians need to know regarding the intersection of mental health in functional gut disorders

Connect with Staudacher on Twitter or on her website at as well!