IBS Specialist. Manchester, Cheshire and Online

IBS

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a label.

But it doesn’t tell us what is causing the symptoms.

We can help you to address the underlying issue and take back control of your gut health.

Book your free call with a Nutritionist

What is IBS?

IBS isn’t a condition like diabetes or heart disease. In those conditions, there is a clear understanding of how they develop and how to test for them.

In IBS things are less clear. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is diagnosed on symptoms alone. So the presence of:

  • bloating
  • cramping
  • altered stool patterns (constipation or diarrhoea)

may help to diagnose IBS, but they don’t help us to understand why you may be experiencing them.

The cause of these symptoms (the ‘why‘) can be different for each individual, so understanding and investigating the issues you’ve been facing can be essential.

Causes of IBS

The multiple factors that contribute to IBS have recently been explored in a peer reviewed article entitled “Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Exist? Identifiable and Treatable Causes of Associated Symptoms Suggest It May Not”.

This title is not suggesting that IBS is made up in your head.

The article in fact focuses on discussing that there are many underlying issues that can contribute to the digestive system being sent out of balance.

It’s this disruption that is leading to your symptoms.

By identifying which underlying factors are most relevant to you and addressing them that we work towards bringing about lasting change.

The underlying factors that contribute to symptoms of IBS fall into 3 main categories

Functional Imbalances

(eg. gut bacteria imbalances, infections)

Nutritional Factors

(eg. vitamin deficiencies, food sensitivities)

Lifestyle & Environment

(eg. stress, poor sleep)

Download the free beat the bloat eBook

Research estimates that the underlying cause of symptoms in up to 80% of IBS sufferers is a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine known as SIBO

LEARN MORE ABOUT SIBO

Treatment & Therapy

Rather than living on a restricted diet forever, there is another way. By identifying and addressing the underlying issue we can bring about lasting change.

Personalised Dietary
Recommendations

Strain-specific
Probiotic Supplementation

Targeted Nutritional
Supplementation

Gut Health Tests to
Identify Key Imbalances

Supportive Lifestyle
Recommendations

Gut Balancing
Protocols

Take back control of your gut health
Schedule a free 15-minute call with a Nutritionist

Frequently Asked IBS Questions

How is IBS diagnosed?

IBS is diagnosed on symptoms alone and is based on the following criteria.

Recurrent abdominal pain, on average, at least 1 day/week in the last 3 months, associated with two or more of the following criteria:

  • Related to defecation
  • Associated with a change in frequency of stool
  • Associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool.

Can you cure IBS?

It can be helpful to view IBS not as a disease, but as a sign that there’s an imbalance in the digestive system.  This may be an imbalance in the beneficial bacteria, inflammatory processes or even food intolerances.

To resolve IBS and live symptom-free, the underlying issues needs to be identified and addressed.

Are there different types of IBS?

IBS is an overarching umbrella term that describes someone’s symptoms.  Within this, there are 3 subtypes of IBS.  IBS with diarrhoea, IBS with constipation and IBS with a mix between the 2.

Even though these subtypes give a clearer indication of someone’s symptoms, they go no further to inform us what the underlying issue is.

Are tests available for IBS?

Several tests are available to investigate imbalances in the digestive tract.

These imbalances may lead to the symptoms we commonly see in IBS.

Learn more about testing.

Can I speak with you before booking a consultation?

I always like to speak with people before booking a consultation.  This can help me understand your symptoms and to make sure this is the right approach for you.

Book a free call.

IBS and SIBO

IBS is an overarching umbrella term that describes someone’s symptoms.  Within this, there are 3 subtypes of IBS.  IBS with diarrhoea, IBS with constipation and IBS with a mix between the 2.

Even though these subtypes give a clearer indication of someone’s symptoms, they go no further to inform us what the underlying issue is.

The SIBO tests measure 2 types of gas, hydrogen, and methane.  If there are elevations in 1 of these gases, we can name that Hydrogen or Methane SIBO.  It’s also possible to have elevations in both gases.

The type of gas that is elevated helps to guide supplement protocols to target the specific organisms that produce that type of gas.

A third type of gas, hydrogen sulfide, can also be produced by the gut bacteria. However, it is not currently possible to test for this gas.

Generally speaking, there are 3 components to a supplement protocol to address the elevated bacteria in SIBO.  These can include a combination of probiotics, prebiotics, and antimicrobial herbs.

Depending on the underlying issue (eg. the reasons why the bacteria are there in the first place) additional supplements may be suggested.

SIBO is a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine with several underlying causes.  The majority of those with SIBO can have the small intestine rebalance, however, there are also some who either have treatment-resistant or chronic SIBO.

This largely depends on the underlying cause.  Particularly, if parts of the small intestine have been damaged, this may lead to reoccurring SIBO.

This SIBO test may be offered through the NHS, however, it’s not uncommon for the waiting time for this test to be several months.

By ordering directly from the laboratory, we are able to have the test sent to your home within 3-5 days. The results will be back 7-10 days after the laboratory has received the samples.

Supplements

From your first consultation, you will receive a supplement protocol.  I like to describe supplements as a form of scaffolding.  If a building is in need of support, we erect scaffolding.  The digestive system is no different.

The aim is not to be taking lots of supplements forever but to use them in the short term to support, repair and rebalance.

The duration of a supplement protocol will vary on your symptoms, the underlying imbalance and any additional factors that may be contributing to your digestive issues.

Generally speaking, 8 weeks is an average time to be on a specific supplement protocol.  Following this, a maintenance protocol may be recommended.

The supplements I recommend vary depending on your specific situation and set of symptoms.  Common recommendations include probiotics, specific herbal extracts to help rebalance and modify the gut bacteria as well as beneficial, gut-friendly prebiotics.

Following your consultations, you will receive a link to an online ‘shopping basket’ with the products I recommend.  These are generally delivered within 24-48 hours.

Qualifications

I am not a doctor and can therefore not officially diagnose your condition.

However, as with the diagnosis of IBS, labels may not always be helpful.  By digging deeper and identify underlying imbalances we can often bring symptoms under control.

It is also important that your GP is kept up to date with any findings.  If appropriate, and with your approval, I may write to your GP to request further investigations or assessments.

I am a fully insured registered Nutritional Therapist with membership through BANT and CNHC, the main governing bodies within the UK.

I am also continuously engaged in current research as well as additional educational courses as a form of continuing professional development (CPD).

Consultations

The initial consultation is 90 minutes long.  Here we talk about your symptoms in depth, how and when they started, other contributing factors as well as your current diet.

From this consultation, you will receive your protocol.  This will include detailed dietary suggestions, a supplement protocol, recommendations for further testing as well as appropriate lifestyle recommendations.

From this point, it’s beneficial to speak every 3-4 weeks to assess progress and make any adjustments to your protocol.

To make sure this is the right approach for you, please book a free 15-minute consultation with me here.

Without knowing more about your specific symptoms this is a hard question to answer.

However, generally speaking, the majority of those that I work with typically feel 3 consultations, over a 2-month period is all that is required.

I appreciate that it can be frustrating when you’re looking for a quick resolution of symptoms.  As with many other health conditions, healing is not always a straightforward path.

There are several dietary templates that often offer symptom relief over a matter of days.  While these are not long-term approaches, they can be a way to help ease symptoms and help you feel more comfortable as the underlying issues are identified and addressed.