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©2019 BY JUSTINE DOWD, PHD.

ABOUT JUSTINE DOWD

My passion for gut health all began with a diagnosis of celiac disease, just as I was beginning my PhD. After enduring a number of ups and downs, including additional complications from hashimotos hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome, and infertility struggles, I realized that all my health issues were rooted in the same place -- my gut.

It became my mission to not only optimize my own gut health,
but to empower others as well.

Working in collaboration with other health experts, I am committed to helping people take a holistic well-rounded approach to personal wellness with educational gut health seminars, as well as fertility support seminars (coming soon). I also co-created the MyHealthyGut app, which makes it easy for any individual to improve their general digestive health, in addition to providing evidence-based tips and tools for managing celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

I earned both of my undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Physical and Health Education at Queen’s University, before pursuing my Master’s degree in Exercise and Health Psychology at The University of Western Ontario. In 2011, four months after being diagnosed with celiac disease, I began my PhD studies at UBC in the Psychology of Exercise, Health and Physical Activity Lab. While the focus of my thesis was on health behaviour change, I found myself actively working on side projects related to celiac disease.

With a growing personal interest in gut health, in 2014 I moved onto the University of British Columbia-Okanagan where I completed my first Postdoctoral Fellowship. There, I demonstrated how self-compassion positively impacts diet adherence and quality of life among those with celiac disease. Now, as a CIHR-funded post-doctoral fellow at the University of Calgary, I work in the Health and Wellness Lab where my research continues to explore the important role of self-compassion and exercise in optimizing health among people with digestive issues.

As an active health promoter, I have presented my work at conferences including the Canadian Celiac Association’s National and Regional Conferences, the Society of Behavioural Medicine, and the International Celiac Disease Symposium.

My work has also been published in journals including Appetite, the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, the Journal of Health Psychology, the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, and BMC Public Health.