Gut Health Specialists

Why Work With A Gut Health Dietitian

Having a healthy gut is a key pillar of overall health. The gut is essential for so many functions in the body, including supporting our immune system, regulating hormones, absorbing nutrients and balancing our mood.

Your digestive system relies on having a balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. When these are out of balance, it can cause food intolerances, affect mental health and greatly impact on your quality of life.

Having a good balance of bacteria supports both physical health and mental health, with a strong connection between the brain and the gut. If you’ve ever noticed a feeling of ‘butterflies in your stomach’ when you feel anxious, this is due to that connection!

In disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is common to experience depression and anxiety alongside gut symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, excess gas, constipation and/or diarrhoea. Working with a dietitian can help you to optimise your gut health and relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

Kiah Paetz and Jade Wrigley are the Gut Health Dietitians at the PNW Clinic. Our dietitians have years of experience in helping clients with their gut health and are trained in the low FODMAP diet for IBS by Monash University.

If you are currently suffering from digestive issues, please reach out to book your free discovery call with our team. We are passionate about helping our clients resolve digestive issues and improve their quality of life.

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We help you to

  • Understand triggers for bloating and excess gas
  • Improve the regularity and consistency of bowel motions
  • Explore a range of plant foods to support your good gut bacteria
  • Understand and manage food intolerances
  • Improve the balance of bacteria in the gut
  • Use simple strategies that are tailored to your lifestyle

Gut Health Specialists

Why is Gut Health Important?

The digestive system is complex and highly important to overall health. In the past, we thought of our gut as one long ‘tube’ for food to pass through and be absorbed and then excreted. From decades of research, we now understand that our gut includes a ‘microbiome’ of bacteria that have both harmful and beneficial properties for our body.

Did you know that you have about 300-500 different species of bacteria in your digestive tract?

Your gut is very sensitive to extreme change. Examples of this are drastically changing your diet, using antibiotics (which also kill good gut bacteria), or being exposed to a food-borne illness that results in food poisoning.

Signs of an unhealthy gut include:

  • Stomach disturbances such as excess gas or bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and reflux/heartburn
  • Unintentional weight changes, especially weight loss from conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Food intolerances or difficulty digesting certain foods

Having poor gut health can greatly impact on your relationship with food, even making you feel anxious about eating certain foods or cutting out different food groups to try and resolve symptoms on your own.

If you regularly experience digestive issues, our dietitians at Plant Nutrition and Wellness can help.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gut disorder that is characterised by bloating, abdominal pain and cramping and diarrhoea and/or constipation with symptoms experienced consistently over a minimum 6 month period. To diagnose IBS, other conditions must first be ruled out such as Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease or bowel cancer.

IBS is considered a chronic condition and can affect someone for many years. Fortunately, a dietitian can support you to make food and lifestyle changes that can help to manage and reduce many of the symptoms of IBS.


Bloating can be painful and uncomfortable. Some amount of bloating after eating is normal, especially if you are eating higher fibre meals. However, bloating that is persistent and leaves you feeling like your belly is swollen and uncomfortable is usually related to excess gas or disturbances in the muscle movement of your digestive system or abdominal area.

Indigestion or reflux may show up as pain or discomfort in your upper abdominal area and may include a burning sensation in your chest. Symptoms can show up soon after eating and drinking and include feeling bloated or sick, burping and/or regurgitating.

If you experience these symptoms often, it may be a good idea to explore diet and lifestyle changes with a dietitian.


Experiencing diarrhoea or constipation can cause a lot of discomfort and impact on your quality of life, leaving you feeling stressed about bathroom visits.

Diarrhoea is characterised by loose or runny bowel motions and can be caused by bacterial infections or viruses. It can also be caused by intolerances to foods or substances such as lactose, fructose, sugar alcohols or high fat foods.

Constipation refers to passing bowel motions infrequently. Bowel motions may also be firm and difficult to pass. Simple strategies can assist with constipation such as regular movement, eating enough fibre and drinking enough water each day. Sometimes the causes are more complex including motility issues and diseases such as diabetes, IBS and hypothyroidism.


Flatulence (gas) is the passing of wind through your digestive system. Some amount of gas is normal, especially if you eat a high fibre diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, grains and/or legumes. However, passing excess gas can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable.

Excess gas can be caused by eating certain high fibre foods that your body finds difficult to digest. Another cause includes eating or drinking in a way that introduces air to the stomach, for example eating too quickly or drinking carbonated beverages.

Working with a dietitian at Plant Nutrition and Wellness can help you identify causes of excess wind and strategies to manage symptoms.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis which are conditions that lead to chronic inflammation of the digestive system. Symptoms include abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhoea, malnutrition and weight loss. These conditions affect each person differently, however they can greatly affect your quality of life. There may be periods of remission and flare up which require different treatment approaches.

There is no known cure for IBD but it can be managed and symptoms can be improved with dietary and lifestyle changes. Working with a dietitian can help you to identify trigger foods, reverse malnutrition and improve uncomfortable gut symptoms.

Who we are


Senior Dietitian

Kiah Paetz

Kiah is the founder of the PNW Clinic. She works in the areas of eating disorders, disordered eating, gut health and plant based nutrition and is passionate about helping women build a healthy relationship with food and their body. She believes that eating should be easy and enjoyable – not the cause of guilt, stress and anxiety

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all consultations are conducted virtually via Zoom. Please select your timezone upon booking for custom times in your local area. We consult worldwide

Team Dietitian

Jade Wrigley

Jade is a passionate dietitian working in the areas of disordered eating, plant-based nutrition and gut health. She combines evidenced-based nutrition science with a holistic approach, working collaboratively with her clients to develop a nutrition plans that is underpinned by simple and sustainable change.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all consultations are conducted virtually via Zoom. Please select your timezone upon booking for custom times in your local area. We consult worldwide

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Fax: 07 3036 5824


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