The Nutrition Coach

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) case studies

When we saw Jill she was really at the end of her tether – bloating and gas meant that by the evening her stomach was “the size of a balloon”. In fact the day she came to see us, she was very upset as someone had offered her a seat on the tube, thinking she was pregnant. She was suffering from periodic bouts of constipation, followed by periods of loose stools. She couldn’t really tell what made this all better or worse – she’d rather given up – but she had booked time off for a holiday and the thought of getting the swimming costume out had driven her to look for a solution!

Once we had done the dietary assessment – we asked Jill to do some biochemical tests and we tested for low stomach acid. It seemed that the bloating was being made worse by low stomach acid, which meant that her food was fermenting as it was not digesting properly. Another clue was that on holidays her symptoms seemed to get a bit better. We gave her another test called an Adrenal Stress Index to look into the function of her adrenals (where stress hormones are made) – it turned out that a prolonged period of stress was not helping her gut. Finally, we asked her to undertake a stool test where we found that the balance of friendly to unfriendly bacteria in her gut was not balanced favourably. A mix of getting her stress under control (and some vitamin supplements to help) getting her diet back in order, and a course of great probiotics has made Jill a much happier lady!

Sandra loves to travel. But on returning home this time, her usual bout of traveller’s tummy didn’t clear up like it normally did. Sandra was still getting some very unpleasant side-effects including some very potent wind. It turned out that some unwanted guests had hitched a ride back home from abroad. We established that Sandra had a parasite. After some intervention with some natural anti-parasitic agents, general gut care, and some dietary changes, Sandra is feeling great and ready to hit the road again.

Carole was suffering from bloating, wind, constipation and gut pain – she had gone to her GP just to check that there was nothing seriously wrong but the GP couldn’t find anything that would lead to these kind of symptoms. We did a gut test and found that Carole had a parasite called blastocystis hominis. In Carole’s case we managed to get the symptoms under control by using a special herbal product to safely eradicate the parasite.

Sam came to The Nutrition Coach three months ago. She had been suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) for about seven years and had had to put up with bouts of constipation, griping pain and loose stools - often being caught short and having to make a dash for the loo. She had got to the stage of not really wanting to go out at all - let alone enjoy herself out shopping with a friend. She daren't risk it.

Her baby Dan, now 18 months had also added to the demands on the family and on life generally and Sam hadn't been able to shift the two stone that she had put on after he was born.

Our first priority was to see what was lurking in Sam's gut that was causing all the problems. We ran a stool test and found, lo and behold, a parasite. She also had very low friendly bacteria - friendly bacteria help protect the gut against intruders amongst other things.

We managed to get rid of the parasite with special herbs and we built up her colonies of friendly bacteria and meanwhile got cracking on designing Sam a whole new way of eating. We started of with "making" Sam eat breakfast - she had been skipping breakfast as she wasn't prioritising it and thought she couldn't spare the time. What a huge difference that and other small adjustments made to Sam's diet - she no longer has the huge craving she had for chocolate cookies!

Now, three months down the line, running for the loo is no longer an issue. Her gut is totally normal and as an added bonus, she is in all her pre-pregnancy clothes as she has lost a stunning two stone with her words, practically no effort at all.

We could tell that Lynne had all sorts of absorbency problems – ridges and marks on her finger nails plus a mysteriously low iron level. We sent her back to her doctor to check for coelic’s disease (a lifelong intolerance to gluten). The doctor tested for this condition and found her to be positive. Under the doctor’s advice, she is doing much better and has regained some of her vibrant energy.

Brian is in the police. He works long hours under a lot of stress. Grabbing a burger on the beat is common place – that on top of no breakfast. Gut symptoms included bloating, gas and weight gain. We gave Brian a simple programme of dietary changes which really sorted him out. Brian no longer skips breakfast as this makes a huge difference to his energy levels. He is also now free of bloating and has lost weight as an added bonus.

After being at university, Fiona found that her nutritional habits began to slide – loads of white toast, pasta, and junk food had been her staples. Five years later, and trying to hold down a job, she found herself having to run to the loo urgently – sometimes in the middle of meetings. We discovered that Fiona had a bacterial infection. After being a model patient  she finally has her gut symptoms under control. She would say, that to change the outcome of a gut condition you need patience, tenacity (and faith) but by implementing change over a period of time, you can start to turn things round.

Sam couldn’t stop itching – itchy bottom (!), itchy ears and itchy nose – plus he was prone to periods where his stomach would play up (loose stools). He was really fed up when he came to see us. We listened to his list of other symptoms (he also had athlete’s foot and a yeast patch on his chest). We tested him for yeast – sure enough Sam had a proliferation of yeast. With dietary changes and dietary supplements we managed to sort Sam out and he is now free of itching!

Mary came back from a lovely holiday with a new friend - in her gut! She came to see us with symptoms of constipation, rumbling, occasional pain and a generally "unreliable" gut. After a stool test we identified her new co-habitant as "Mr" Blastocystis hominis. B. Hominis is a very common guest that we can pick up from contaminated foods. We also often pick up parasites when we are generally run down. We started by "restocking" Mary’s friendly bacteria and improving symptoms through a course of strong herbal treatments. After a lot of patience, and a few set backs, Mary has now seen her visitor on its way. Next time we would advise Mary to carry some probiotics on the trip and to put some drops of grapefruit seed extract in her water (an antibacterial) to ward off any unwelcome invasions, i.e. stopping them at the border before they become a problem!

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