Sid on IBS


Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What is it?

It is important to remember that IBS is not actually a disease but rather a collection of symptoms which are due to impaired function of the gut. We all experience occasional abdominal discomfort or upset from time to time but for IBS sufferers, these symptoms can be prolonged and problematic. This common disorder affects your large intestine (colon) and in Ireland, up to 20% of adults suffer from the condition, with twice as many females to males living with it.

IBS commonly causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating and alternating constipation and diarrhoea. These symptoms can occur for days, weeks, months or even years. As the symptoms mimic other bowel conditions, IBS is usually diagnosed through the elimination of other ailments with similar symptoms.

What causes it?

There are many proposed causes of IBS. The list of suspects includes:

Bacterial, parasitic or viral infections

Overuse of antibiotics

An adverse reaction or intolerance to a food such as lactose or wheat

One underlying factor in almost all cases of IBS is stress. There is a complex biological interaction between the brain and the gut. No matter the source or level of the stress, our gut will generally react in some way.

What can I do to manage my IBS?

In many cases, you can control your IBS by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress.

Here are a few simple tips to get started:

Identify certain trigger foods that aggravate your symptoms, remove these foods by process of elimination. This can take several weeks but if you can find the offending food then it’s well worth the effort.

Probiotics are cultures of the “Friendly Bacteria” vital for intestinal health, which help to digest food and protect against the growth of harmful bacteria.

Soluble fibre (which dissolves in water) is much better for helping IBS than insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre has a gentle and soothing action on the gut. Dietary sources include:


Psyllium husk soaked in in water or psyllium powder

Flaxseed (linseed) – whole rather than ground

Peppermint oil capsules – very effective in calming abdominal spasms

Sid on sugar


Outwitting the Sugar Addiction




Sugar is a major life force needed to fuel the brain and body. Sugars that are found in whole foods are balanced with the proper minerals. When these sugars break down and are assimilated, the energy produced is stable and long lasting.


When natural sugar is refined and concentrated the balance is dismembered. Refined sugar passes through the blood stream quickly in large amounts upsetting the stomach and pancreas. Overtime, prolonged use of refined sugar leads to an acid condition, consuming the body’s minerals, weakening the digestive system, and throwing the blood sugar out of balance. This quick, high energy producer is unfortunately addictive and contributes to obesity, hypoglycaemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, anaemia, immune deficiency, tooth decay, and loss of bone mass among many other conditions. In fact, sugar is so addictive that many clinical trials involving rats as test subjects, have shown that refined sugar is a more powerful addictive substance than cocaine.

Removing sugar from the diet is no easy task. It is everywhere!

If you try to go cold turkey, be prepared for some nasty withdrawal symptoms. Many experience headaches comparable to a migraine, exhaustion, mood swings and depression. But don’t let that put you off. Sugar withdrawal doesn’t have to be torture.

Before you go crazy trying to throw it out…use these tips and try some of the sugar alternatives offered here. Over time, you may actually prefer them, and your body will thank you.
























Tips to Kick the Sugar Habit



Eat Regularly. Eat little and often. Many people have a drop in blood sugar levels when meals are too spaced out, leaving us feel hungry and more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.

Choose Whole Foods. The closer a food is to its original form, the less processed sugar it will have.

Try To Incorporate Protein Into Each Meal. This helps to control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources. Be sure to start the day with right with a good wholesome breakfast to limit sugar cravings throughout the day.

Get Enough Sleep. When over tired we often use sugar for energy to counteract the exhaustion.

Keep It Out Of Reach. Keep sugary snacks out of the house or place of work. It’s hard to give in to temptation if it’s not there in the first place.

Distract Yourself. Cravings are usually short-lived. If you can distract yourself with something else, it often passes. The more you do this, the easier it gets and the cravings get easier to deal with.

Give Yourself A Break. It is possible to satisfy that sweet tooth with something nutritious. Do avoid artificial sweeteners, which will do little to alter your desire for sweets and have a negative effect on the body. Have a piece of fruit or a square of dark chocolate which actually has many health benefits, in moderation of course!



Written by Richard Sheehan



Sid on diets



At one stage or another in all of our lives we’ve tried a diet of some description, usually in a desperate bid to shape up for a holiday or upcoming event. If you’ve never found yourself in this dilemma, then you are truly blessed genetically!

While you may lose weight on a quick fix programme, chances are that you’ve put it back on just as quickly. Others will succumb to deprivation, boredom and misery within the first 7-10 days and feel like a failure, so they turn to their reliable friend ‘FOOD’ for comfort and so the vicious cycle continues.

Whether it’s the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit and water diet or some other potion that guarantees rapid weight loss, the results are never long lasting.

The basic science is that the human body needs a variety of food groups to sustain healthy living. When you crash diet, generally you are consuming far fewer calories that normal. You would assume that this should automatically result in weight loss, but actually your body goes into starvation mode. When this happens your metabolism slows down. Your metabolism is your body’s engine, it determines how many calories you burn. That means that if your metabolism slows down, your body has to work much harder to burn the same amount of calories it would if it was functioning normally. For example, let’s say you normally burn 300 calories during a 30 minute session on a treadmill. If your metabolism has slowed down, you may only burn 200 calories for the exact same session. Now you have to work 3 times harder to get the same calorie expenditure to help you lose weight. That really sounds like too much hard work for no good reason.

Rather than obsessing with these quick fix diets, what you really need to do is adapt a longer lasting lifestyle change. Yes, it may take more time to achieve your goals but the results will be more permanent.

A few simple tips to get you on the right track

Do not deprive yourself too much, just have everything in moderation.

Eat at regular intervals and don’t allow yourself to get over hungry.

Keep a daily food diary for a week. It will give you a clear indication of exactly what you are consuming. Sometimes you may not realise just how much you’re eating.

Decrease your intake of alcohol.

Opt for higher fibre wholefoods and decrease the amount of processed foods.

Drink plenty of water in its pure form. Not in the form of dilute fruit squash.

Obviously exercise is a major factor in any weight loss programme. Dieting alone is not sufficient.

If you would like more information on this subject call for an appointment    PHONE 0873848818

By Richard Sheehan, Nutritional Therapist Dip NT M.I.A.N.T.