62d MDS Health Promotions Team launches Gut Health Protocol class

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colleen Anthony

With work trips that throw off regular eating habits and deployments with food-source limitations, it may be challenging for military personnel to maintain a normal diet. The Health Promotions Team with the 62d Medical Squadron noticed the roadblocks to thriving gut health and wanted to make a difference. 

“We decided to put a class together to bring more awareness to gut health and open it up to everybody … because in family dynamics, a lot of the time, cooking and food preparation, doesn’t involve just the one patient," said Health Promotions Team coordinator, Hannah Stipek. “We wanted to create this free-flowing information so that everyone has the education they need to prioritize gut health.”

The hour-long class covers the basic understanding of gut science, the prebiotic-probiotic relationship and how to eliminate and reintroduce foods. They also shared recommended supplements to balance the good and bad bacteria in the stomach.

Addressing the gut issues of their patients led Stipek and dietician Rachael Schmetzer to build a curriculum that educates JBLM service members and their families on how to navigate the popularized gut health trends and take steps toward healing.

“Focusing on gut health gives patients a new perspective on their health," said Schmetzer. “People are advertised the same thing over and over, to just eat healthy, and they are just tired of it. With applying a gut health focus, they see how it raises energy levels and makes people feel better.”

Over 60-70 million Americans are suffering from gastrointestinal diseases that can create serious disruption in their daily lives. Many of these diseases can only be diagnosed by a medical professional, according to the American Gastrointestinal Association.

“When we put this class out, we had the most interest out of all the classes we've done,” said Stipek, who has been with Team McChord for three years. “I'm hoping we can keep this momentum going because gut health is so important to overall health.”

Those who aren't diagnosed with severe stomach issues often have a hard time recognizing their symptoms as out-of-the-norm, according to Stipek.

“They don't even realize that the symptoms they have aren't actually normal for their health,” said Stipek. “I hope through this class they can maybe see how their symptoms, diet and gut health are connected and be more willing to take action.”


If you'd like to attend the next Gut Health Protocol class, follow the link below to get signed up.

 Book Your Class with Health Promotion McChord (setmore.com)