Registration for the first course on IBS launches February 26 and costs $250
Most people don’t really think about how their daily habits might be affecting their gut health. But according to Sarah Robbins, who has been practicing gastroenterology for the last 20 years, factors like nutrition, sleep and exercise can make or break your gut’s microbiome.
“There's a tremendous number of people that would never be able to access that kind of information through traditional medical formats,” she says of one-on-one office appointments. “There are a lot of barriers to accessing care in that people require a referral from a primary care physician to see a specialist, and then of course they have the whole waitlist issue.”
Robbins’ personal waitlist is three years long. In order to create a platform where she can address nutrition and lifestyle issues more efficiently, she launched her own health promotion company, Well Sunday, earlier this week. The Kelowna-based virtual platform offers multiple courses with video content and associated materials to address functional gastrointestinal disease and other health concerns as a way to lower the barriers to what Robbins calls “lifestyle medicine.”
"We're talking about achieving health as opposed to treating disease,” Robbins notes. Growing up in a farm in Alberta, food and nutrition have always been an important part of Robbins’ life, and this new venture is a way for her to create a community where people can learn from each other instead of being dependent on care providers for non-urgent health concerns. “This is really to provide information for those people who have illnesses that are affecting their quality of life and don't have the resources or knowledge to be able to start to impact their own care and to really be empowered.”
The waitlist for courses is now open, with the first one dedicated to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Registration for that costs $250 and opens on February 26, although the waitlist for courses has already seen some 1000 people sign up within the first 24 hours of the platform going live on February 21.
Topics to come will cover common illnesses that Robbins says are underserved lifestyle-dependent, such as nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's and colitis, celiac disease and reflux.
“There's just this whole spectrum of issues that are part of nutrition care and how we consider food,” Robbins maintains. “And it's nice to be able to think about that in a wellness model rather than in an illness setting.”