Oct
04

Patient Story: Ciara Millar, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – dietary success

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Patient Story: Ciara Millar,
Ir ritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) -
dietary success
“Growing up in my teens I suffered from problems with my
stomach and my bowel. I suffered from vomiting, burping
after eating and intense stomach cramps and bloating after
eating. The symptoms of these problems got extremely
worse in my mid 20’s when I started my career. Stress
aggravated the problems. My life became centred around
these problems because I found it hard to make plans to go
out on a night out, to go on fl ights and to go out for dinner.
In my mid-twenties my symptoms had become so severe
that I made an appointment via my G.P. to attend a
Gastroenterologist and I had a colonoscopy procedure to
check my bowel and a g astroscopy procedure to check my
stomach. I was diagnosed as having chronic irritable bowel
syndrome. I was also diagnosed as having refl ux. I am now
31 and since I fi rst had these procedures I have had them
twice since then. I always tried to manage my symptoms
by eating more healthy, not eating takeaways, cutting out
white bread, cutting out and down on certain alcohol and
exercising. I always tended to be worse when I went on
holidays and blamed it on the fl ights.
In the last few months I was almost afraid to eat because
everytime I did eat the symptoms of refl ux would return
and the cramps I was experiencing from my bowel became
intolerable. My symptoms were so severe this year that I
was vomiting a lot at night and in the morning, suffering
from stomach cramps every time I ate. I no longer
socialised because I was afraid of being sick when I went
out with friends. I missed days in work because of what
I was experiencing. My mood swings also changed and I

“Growing up in my teens I suffered from problems with my stomach and my bowel. I suffered from vomiting, burping after eating and intense stomach cramps and bloating after eating. The symptoms of these problems got extremely worse in my mid 20’s when I started my career. Stress aggravated the problems. My life became centred around these problems because I found it hard to make plans to go out on a night out, to go on flights and to go out for dinner.

In my mid-twenties my symptoms had become so severe that I made an appointment via my G.P. to attend a Gastroenterologist and I had a colonoscopy procedure to check my bowel and a g astroscopy procedure to check my stomach. I was diagnosed as having chronic irritable bowel syndrome. I was also diagnosed as having reflux. I am now 31 and since I first had these procedures I have had them twice since then. I always tried to manage my symptoms by eating more healthy, not eating takeaways, cutting out white bread, cutting out and down on certain alcohol and exercising. I always tended to be worse when I went on holidays and blamed it on the flights.

In the last few months I was almost afraid to eat because everytime I did eat the symptoms of reflux would return and the cramps I was experiencing from my bowel became intolerable. My symptoms were so severe this year that I was vomiting a lot at night and in the morning, suffering from stomach cramps every time I ate. I no longer socialised because I was afraid of being sick when I went out with friends. I missed days in work because of what I was experiencing. My mood swings also changed and I wasn’t the happy go lucky person I always had been.

I was advised by my gastroenterologist to attend Elaine McGowan. That day I met with Elaine, she was sympathetic to what I had been going through all these years and she said that she would help me. My family and friends had been telling me for months that I couldn’t continue to put up with the problems that I had been having for years.

Elaine introduced me to the low FODMAP diet and explained it to me in detail. This particular diet lists out certain foods that you can and can’t eat. Within two days of using this diet I noticed an enormous change. I have been on this diet now for over two months and I can honestly say that is has changed my life.

I can still eat a lot of the food groups that I have always loved. I just had to make certain changes. The symptoms of both reflux and chronic IBS have disappeared completely. I now realise that it is normal not to get cramps or feel nauseous every time I eat. I am happier in myself, the dark circles are gone from under my eyes, I am sleeping better and I have more energy than ever before because of the foods I am now eating on this diet.

Thank you Elaine so much for helping me have a normal life again.”

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About Elaine

Elaine graduated from Trinity College with a B.Sc., (Hons) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She gained wide experience working as clinical nutritionist in several hospitals prior to establishing her first private dietetic clinic in 1992.

Private Practice Experience
Elaine has gained vast experience specialising in providing private individual dietetic consultations for her clients in her clinics for the past 17 years. In recent years, her main areas of interest are weight management, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and nutrition and gastro-enterology.

Elaine is an active member of the INDI and was chairperson of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic weight management interest group from 2005 to 2007.

Dietetic and Nutrition Consultancy
Elaine has provided dietetic consultancy to a wide range of industries including private hospitals, hotels and catering companies. She has designed, piloted, implemented and coordinated workplace wellbeing programmes for several prominent companies and large international corporations.