Recap: Gut Reset with Dr. Michael Mosley on SBS.

Image of Michael Mosley

Erin Dwyer - Research Dietitian, 11 March 2019

Recently on SBS in Australia, episode 3 in Dr. Michael Mosley’s RESET series was aired, this one focused on the gut and featured our very own colleague, Accredited Practising Dietitian Dr. Emma Halmos. 

We promoted this episode on our social media channels and there was great interest, however it came to our attention the show was unfortunately not able to be viewed outside of Australia due to SBS’s guidelines. So we thought we’d recap it here! 

Dr. Mosley's panel consisted of 3 ‘patients’ 1 with IBS & IBD (Crohn’s), one with Diverticulosis and possible IBS, and one person with no current diagnosis but experiencing gut symptoms such as cramping and altered bowel habits. There were also 3 specialists – A gastroenterologist, a clinical psychologist and Dr. Halmos - a specialist dietitian.

The panel flowed through several areas of conversation, discussing how sometimes patients can feel ‘fobbed off’ by their doctors, with Emma explaining it can be difficult to diagnose gut symptoms as for IBS there is no one test like there is for Coeliac Disease or Crohn’s, however they are improving as knowledge improves. 

They panel also discussed the gut microbiome and how from birth to the age of 3 our gut ‘fingerprint’ is created and so diet and lifestyle can influence our long term gut health. 

The topic of ‘prebiotics’ also featured heavily, and how they are important for a healthy microbiome but can be trigger foods for IBS. This then lead to Emma discussing how important it is to reintroduce high FODMAP foods so that we do not miss out on these fibres that help promote the growth of good bacteria in out guts. 

The panel then discussed FODMAPs with Dr.Michael Mosley saying “ I love the FODMAP diet, I think it has brought hope where there was almost none before”. Dr. Halmos was able to discuss the steps of the FODMAP diet – reinforcing that is it a THERAPEUTIC diet, so if you do not have gut symptoms, there is no need to follow it. 

  1. Diagnosis – before beginning a low FODMAP diet, you must have an IBS diagnosis and make sure any other possible symptom causes have been ruled out e.g. coeliac disease, IBD.
  2. See a specialised dietitian to guide you through Step 1 – low FODMAP. 
  3. Results should appear within 2 weeks (if diet is followed correctly) 
  4. Reintroduce (step 2) – there is a technique to this, to avoid long term dietary restriction, see your dietitian. 
  5. Personalise your diet with the help of your dietitian after steps 1 + 2

One patient on the panel reported the FODMAP diet “gave her, her life back”, after months, she was finally able to leave the house and be away from a toilet. Pleasingly, she has now successfully reintroduced most foods back into her diet. 

Discussions were also had around the importance of the gut brain connection and how our brain can influence our symptoms. One panel member had also completed gut directed hypnotherapy and now uses her own personalised recordings created by her practitioner to help control her symptoms. You can read more about Gut hypnotherapy here. 

To summarise, knowledge of the FODMAP diet is increasing and so is the public's awareness of foods, behaviours and activities that can both help and hinder our gut symptoms. The most important take home message is to get your symptoms checked and then see a specialist dietitian to help guide you through the most appropriate management. 

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