New science, practice guidelines & trends in improving gut health

About the symposium:

The evidence has never been stronger: the health of your gut impacts your mood and mental wellbeing. In this half-day Gut Health Month Symposium, we’re bringing you the latest gut health science so you can help your patients and clients nurture their bodies, and their minds, from the inside out. MC’d by Gut Health Month ambassador Nicole Dynan, you’ll hear from incredible speakers, including:

  • Dr Joanna McMillan, presenting on the importance of gut health at every life stage
  • Elissa Robins, highlighting the latest guidelines for managing irritable bowel syndrome in practice 
  • Dr Kim Faulkner-Hogg, explaining how to nourish the ‘gluten free gut’, including the potential use of ‘pure’ oats 
  • Dr Hannah Holscher, exploring research from her laboratory on dietary patterns, the gut microbiota and health outcomes 
  • Dr Rachelle Opie, sharing new evidence on the Med diet, gut health and mental wellbeing 



Gut health at every life stage

Gut health is central to overall physical and mental health, but treatment and management of gut problems can change with each stage of life. In this session, Joanna will discuss what influences gut health at various life stages, microbiome changes and associations with longevity, ageing and chronic disease, as well as how treatment approaches might alter for dietitians working in this space.

Dr Joanna McMillan is a PhD qualified nutrition scientist, Accredited Practising Dietitian, an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe University and guest lecturer at The University of Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and Graduate of The Australian Institute of Company Directors. An experienced TV presenter, Jo is a regular on radio and in print media, an experienced speaker with more than 1 million views of her TEDx talk, the author of eight books and four Audible Original series. She is also a non-executive board member of Cobram Estate Olives.

A dietitian’s toolkit for managing IBS

Dietitians are becoming aware of the need to consolidate their understanding of the gut-brain axis and to expand their toolkit to manage clients presenting with IBS. In this presentation, dietitian Elissa Robins introduces you to The REVIBE Method, a step-by-step, evidence-informed pathway to use with your IBS clients. Elissa will also cover how and when to recommend gut-focused hypnotherapy or elimination diets, and explore the importance of a multimodal approach in managing IBS cases.

Elissa Robins is an APD with 20 years of experience in hospital and private settings. Elissa ran Inner Health Nutrition for seven years, a successful private practice specialising in gastroenterology, digestive concerns, and eating disorders. In 2023, Elissa moved to focus entirely on mentoring, clinical supervision, delivering workshops and online training for dietitians working in digestive health. Elissa is passionate about supporting dietitians and their clients to thrive through the delivery of nutrition interventions that promote psychological wellbeing for those living with co-existing digestive and mental health disorders.

Nourishing the ‘gluten free gut’

Coeliac disease and a gluten-free diet are associated with changes to the intestinal microbiota…which are not always positive. Join Dr Kim Faulkner-Hogg in this presentation to find out how and why – and what can be done to improve the gluten-free microbiome. Kim will explore ways to improve gluten-free fibre and wholegrain intake, and the potential health outcomes of doing so. She’ll also explain the latest science on ‘pure’ oats and share current guidelines on the use of probiotics and symptom management in coeliac disease.

Dr Kim Faulkner-Hogg is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian with 30 years’ experience in coeliac disease. She completed her PhD in coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet in 2004. She was part of the original working party defining the FSANZ low gluten and gluten-free food standards, and is a past Consultant dietitian to Coeliac Australia. Working in private practice and consulting, Kim educates people about coeliac disease, the gluten-free diet and the effects (or lack thereof) from background gluten and now oats. She lectures student dietitians, other health professionals, industry and the public on this topic.

‘You are what you eat’: Understanding how diet influences the gut microbiota

What is a ‘healthy’ microbiome? And what foods does our gut microbiome like best? The answer is not quite as simple as we might think. In this presentation, Dr. Hannah Holscher will explore research from her laboratory that has pinpointed the dietary patterns that affect the human gut microbiota and health. She will explain the complex role of fibre in the production of short-chain fatty acids and other microbial-derived metabolites connected to various health outcomes, as well as the way the fat content of foods affects the gut microbiota. You’ll be amazed by the fascinating world of intestinal microorganisms!

Professor Hannah Holscher is an Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and a member of the Division of Nutritional Sciences, the Institute of Genomic Biology, the National Center for Super Computing Applications, and the Personalized Nutrition Initiative at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She completed postdoctoral training focused on the human microbiome, a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, and a B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is also a Registered Dietitian. Dr. Holscher’s laboratory uses clinical interventions and computational approaches to study the interactions of nutrition, the gastrointestinal microbiome, and health.

What’s the link between the Mediterranean diet, gut health & mental health?

Is the Mediterranean diet feasible in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? And does it have the potential to improve gastrointestinal and psychological symptoms? New research says ‘yes’ – and in this insightful presentation, Dr Rachelle Opie will explain why. With a robust background spanning 18 years in research and clinical practice, including pivotal contributions to the renowned SMILES trial, Rachelle promises plenty of food for thought.

Dr Rachelle Opie is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, an Eating Disorder Credentialled Clinician, and the director of Food for Thought Nutrition and Dietetics. Rachelle has 18 years’ experience in research and clinical practice, which has included the design and delivery of the highly successful dietary intervention used in the SMILES trial – a world-first study showing the efficacy of treating individuals with clinical depression. Her research has been highly impactful and has helped transform the dietary management of individuals with common mental disorders. She has produced over 40 peer reviewed manuscripts, with a particular focus on nutrition and mental health.

US dietitians: 2.5 CEU from CDR
CPD/CEU hours are applicable for Australia and New Zealand dietitians. Check your local country requirements to see if you can claim for continuing education.
To obtain your CEU certificate/certificate of attendance, click the ‘Register button and follow the prompts to register for the webinar. Then go to your Dashboard on your Dietitian Connection account and download the certificate for this webinar.


Gut Health Month 2024 is supported by


Webinar Slides:

Click here to download a copy of the Symposium slides

Continuing Education (USA)
Duration2.5 hours
CPEUs Awarded2.5
Performance Indicators4.2.6, 6.2.3, 8.1.1, 8.1.5