Archive for Patient Stories

Sports NutritionThe finish line of the 2012 Dublin Marathon in Merrion Square on 29 October marked the culmination of months of hard training for husband and wife Michele and Tony Hamilton. The training regime adopted was one where diet was as important as the miles run in the build up to the marathon.

“Myself and my wife Michele are keen runners. Not only is running a way to get fi t, it is great to release
stress from the pressures of everyday life. It is also a way to enjoy the adrenaline rush of running with thousands of other like-minded individuals on the streets of Dublin or the back roads of Limerick. We got the running bug back in 2009 and since then we have ran the Dublin Marathon four times. We have managed to shave off 40 minutes from both our first marathon finishing times in the Dublin marathon, achieving personal bests of 3hr 34 minutes and 3hr 44 minutes respectively this year.

We approached Elaine back in May 2010 to seek dietary advice in order to lose weight and to aid our training regime. Our training involves runs up to 4 times a week, starting from May to October, with distances ranging from 4 miles up to 23 miles in October. Returning home from training late in the evenings meant that we had no structure around our meals and nutrition. Initially we believed that this intense training regime would give us a passport to eat whatever we wanted, from chips to Mars Bars! We couldn’t
understand why we weren’t losing weight after all our running. We found rather than losing weight we were struggling to stay at an even weight.

We sought advice off Elaine and after she saw our eating diaries she recommended a low and controlled carbohydrate diet. We believe this decision to get help from Elaine changed our lives. We got a shock
when Elaine told us that we were “really partying” when it came to our eating habits and that if we hadn’t started the running the previous year we would both be two stone heavier! Elaine quickly recommended a complete change to our diet. We would have to learn to control our carb intake dependent upon the intensity level of the training. It meant that we cut down on unmeasured portions of pasta and potatoes, eliminated sugar in our diet in the form of biscuits and chocolate bars, and embraced our new best friend porridge. She also departed great dietary advice concerning hydration, starting food diaries, and cutting down
alcohol intake.

The results of the new food plans are that we have both lost weight – Michele 9.2kg (1.5 stone) and Tony 6.3kg (1 stone). We can now maintain healthy body weights, and stay injury free. More importantly we have been able to drastically improve our running times and are comfortable and confident both in and out of our running clothes. Visiting Elaine has changed our lives as she has taught us how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, something we feel we would not have been able to achieve on our own.

Elaine McGowan Weight Loss ClinicsWhen I attended the Clinic last Saturday, I was shocked, firstly at the amount of weight have lost, as this time last year I weighed 143kg, BMI 42 (22.5 stone) with my waist size at 51 inches, this year I am now 111kg, BMI 33 (17.5 stone) with a waist size of thirty eight inches, I know I have another two stone or so to go but I know now that I can achieve it. I was further shocked when Elaine asked if I would tell my story, as I could not believe that anyone would be interested in my achievement. So this is my story:

Even as a child I was taller and bigger built than average, because of this I have always been shy and a person of few words, as I headed into my 20’s and 30’s the weight seemed to slowly creep up on me. However, unfortunately in January 2008 I lost my father through tragic circumstances, and only a few days later became a Dad myself for the first time, after waiting thirteen years for our miracle to arrive.

Due to the loss of my Dad and all that goes with such a tragedy, I had to go on anti depressants which unfortunately made my weight balloon more. It didn’t help that during that period in my life, I had to deal with sleepless nights, the feelings of grief and negativity, I just seemed to be barely getting by each day, because of which it seemed I was unable to help myself and didn’t want to take on board that people were concerned about my growing weight.

In January, 2012 my wife asked me to go to my Doctor and see if there was anything that could be done about my weight, as we had a very happy and active four year old to consider. To my own amazement I agreed when my GP referred me to the Dietetic Clinic. My shyness had always held me back, and when I attended the Clinic Elaine made me feel very comfortable as she went through everything with me. I have to date, taken on board, all of Elaine’s advice, and at this juncture would like to thank her for her support, as Elaine helped me build a confidence in myself that I could achieve this.

I was finding it difficult recently especially after the Christmas, but since going back to Elaine, last Saturday I feel that I can achieve it. The only regret I have is that I did not contact the Clinic before now. It is fantastic to be able to fit back into clothes that have been waiting in my wardrobe for me to lose weight. Because of my weight loss I have new energy, and a new lease of life. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with weight to keep trying because the feeling I have these days is worth all the struggles to get there.

Comments (0)

Patient Success Story: Sam Meredith, Where am I now? Weight loss success follow-upWell since my last appearance here on Elaine’s newsletter in 2009, a lot has changed! Having completed my Science degree at UCD, I was inspired by Elaine’s passion for her job, and having an already growing interest in the area of nutrition and dietetics, I decided that this was a career that I would like to pursue. I am now in my final year of studying to be a Dietitian! Having first sought Elaine’s help for weight loss in 2006 at the age of 19, I never would have imagined that I would be following in Elaine’s footsteps four years later but in September 2010 I commenced my journey to becoming a dietitian. This year I will be graduating with an Honours Degree in Dietetics and have gone from being a patient of Elaine’s to helping her with a number of projects.

I have continued to lose weight since my last appearance and recently reached the 5 stone weight loss mark, however it has not been easy!

It has been a very long slow process due to my body’s difficulty in losing weight as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Therefore it is a daily struggle to prevent myself from undoing all that I have achieved to date. Life events such as moving away from home, starting a new degree, increased socializing events and falling in love all appear to cause increase in food intake. Although I do allow myself to indulge sometimes, it is important to bear in mind the effort that you put into losing weight and whether it is worth having the extra helping of dinner, or the high calorie dessert for the second night in a row.
For those of you who struggle with weight I would encourage you to never give up, it is so rewarding when you reach targets that you set yourself such as buying yourself a new outfit and being able to feel and
look great because of the hard work and commitment you have invested.

Comments (0)

I have suffered with IBS like symptoms on and off since I was at university, but it was only after getting a mild vomiting bug about a year ago that my symptoms worsened. I was put on a course of anti-spasmodic tablets to try and alleviate the excessive bloating and nausea and they worked…. for a while! Within a few months my symptoms reappeared and this time they were much worse and beginning to have a serious impact on my quality of life.

I had nausea 24/7, excessive gas, fatigue, constipation and occasional vomiting but worst of all was the bloating. It was so extreme that by evening time, I easily looked seven months pregnant and couldn’t fit into clothes that I had worn when I was two stone heavier.

I tried to limit certain foods in my diet but it never seemed to make a real difference and I was becoming more and more frustrated. Finally when I went to see my GP one morning, unable to sit down from the iscomfort in my stomach, she referred me to a consultant gastroenterologist. All investigations came back negative and she referred me to Elaine McGowan to consider if my food intake was contributing significantly to my symptoms.

Elaine requested that I fill out a food diary for two weeks prior to my first visit and, on review, established that 80% of the food I was consuming was likely to be causing my symptoms. Elaine suggested that I go on a low FODMAP diet, a recently proven dietary therapy for IBS. Elaine clearly explained the foods that I should eat and those to avoid and after only a few days I felt a remarkable improvement in my symptoms. After four weeks of strictly following the diet, Elaine then guided me on how to reintroduce the trigger foods into my diet and educated me on how to establish my own level of tolerance for each food type.

Two months on and the difference is incredible. All of my symptoms have disappeared and I am much wiser as to the foods that can cause me discomfort.

On the down side, eating out is definitely a challenge and you do need to be better prepared to make sure you have the right foods in the cupboard but it’s a small sacrifice to make considering the tremendous
benefits I feel.

To learn more about the FODMAP diet and how this can help your IBS symptons, please see here.

Elaine McGowan Weight Loss ClinicsTuesday the 17th November, 2010 is a red letter day for me because that was the day I first met Elaine McGowan at her clinic in Ennis.

That day was the start of a programme that has changed my life completely as far as my health and mobility is concerned. I was recovering from a road traffic accident, which left me totally immobile for almost three years. On medical advice, I had to consume all kinds of food in order to build up calcium in order to try and heal shattered bones. As a consequence my weight ballooned to over 23 stone 9 lbs (150kg).

Though I tried lots of different diets nothing worked. Coming from a background where it was thought of as unmanly or even a sign of weakness for a man to visit a doctor never mind a dietician, it took a lot of resolve and coaxing from my G.P. and my wife for me to take the plunge and boy am I glad I did.

Elaine approached my problem of morbid obesity with sensitivity, patience and above all understanding. She eventually got me to a point where I would feel that I would let her down but more importantly let myself down if I didn’t meet my target each month. The amazing thing about the diet that she devised for me was that I felt I was actually eating as much, if not more than I was before, but in the proper proportions and the proper kind of foods. After 14 months I have lost in excess of 8 stone (50kg). The difference it has made to my life and that of my wife and family is truly amazing.

I can now go into a restaurant or pub without the fear of when I stood up the chair would come with me, or go on a bus or train and not have to look for two seats for myself. I would never have achieved this without the expertise, motivation and dedication of Elaine and to her I am truly grateful.

To make an appointment to discuss your weight loss needs and concerns, please contact your nearest Elaine McGowan Dietetic Clinic.

Comments (0)

Eoin Ryan is a keen cyclist competing in events around Ireland (funds raised go to the South Kerry Mental Health Services). Eoin sought Elaine’s advice regarding a diet that would give him the energy he needed to complete his newest venture whilst preventing any gastric symptoms such as bloating, gurgling, feeling of lethargy.

Elaine decided the best dietary advice for Eoin would be for him to follow a high calorie high carbohydrate low FODMAP diet. Eoin took part in The Race Around Ireland in September and before the event we asked him to share some information about it

“The Race Around Ireland is a race in the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association world cup series. It starts in Trim, Co. Meath on the 9th September and was in effect a 2,172km time trial around Ireland finishing in Navan, Co. Meath. It offers a unique challenge to competitors who have to overcome fatigue, the elements and the rugged Irish landscape, all whilst racing against fellow competitors.

‘Well I made it to South Kerry, 1,384km roughly, absolutely amazed with the support from everyone out on the side of the road. Had a bit of a twinge in left ankle too which the doc looked at, that was the chilles! Not ruptured but ice and rest recommended. The doctor said it was against his advice to carry on, on two counts. So unfortunately I had to make the awful decision to retire from the race while in second place. A big thank you to the crew who got me this far around and to all who supported the five charities involved.’

Eoin reported that the high calorie, high carbohydrate, low FODMAP diet worked very well in sustaining his energy levels and he had no stomach or bowel difficulties during the 1,384kms that he cycled. He found the diet most beneficial.

To learn more about Sport’s Nutrition and how the Elaine McGowan Dietetic Clinics can help you, please click here.

Comments (0)

I was referred to Elaine as I was overweight (102kg/16 stone) with high cholesterol.

Although I was nearly 51 years of age I had recently taken up cycling in an effort to get fit and lose weight but was disappointed not to be making significant progress. My ambition was to complete the cycling event “Lap The Lough” 134km in August in a respectable time. I had the training schedule but could not shake the weight.

When I met with Elaine her approach was simple and practical without any special or expensive foods required. She advised me on how to change my eating habits so I was never hungry even when out for long spins on the bike. She gave me an understanding of the right types of food to eat before and after cycling as well eating well on a normal day. In all cases portion control proved to be key. Yes I needed to consume carbohydrates before a long event but not too much.

I followed Elaine’s advice and was monitored regularly. My weight reduced from 102kg/16 stone to reach my target weight of 83kg/13 stone and I successfully cycled “Lap the Lough”. I attend Elaine every six months and now weigh 83kg (13 stone) and enjoy a 100km cycle on a regular basis. With the change in my eating habits I can now maintain my weight.

The eating plan outlined by Elaine has proved to be practical and effective and my cholesterol is now normal without having to take any medication.

Comments (0)

My name is Garrett MacNamee. I’m 22 years of age and I once weighed a staggering 24 stone (336lbs, 153Kg).

Since visiting Elaine McGowan and under her guidance, I’ve lost over 10 stone (140lbs, 64Kg) over the past two years.

After a routine check up with the doctor, I was told to stand on the scales. To my surprise, it
showed that I was only four stone. The doctor’s face wasn’t one of confusion, but more disbelief.

The scales had done a full circle and that four stone was my weight on top of the 20 stone maximum to which the scales had been calibrated. After blood tests a plenty, I received news that my liver was depositing fat at an alarming rate and I was well on the way to Type 2 Diabetes. That wiped the smug look off my face. I had convinced myself that I was big, but not too big. Ignorance was bliss.

So what got me to this point? One word; addiction. I got hooked on everything I possibly could. Coca-Cola, chips, biscuits, chicken fillet rolls (with extra taco sauce). At one point I was knocking back 6 litres of Coke a day. Delicious. But it was killing me. Simple as that. Pints on top of this made it a horrible cycle. I’d eat crap during the day, drink at night-time with the lads and then have that hangover binge the next day.

So a combination of binge drinking, that sense of togetherness with the guys coupled with that beautifully demoralising sense of self-loathing created the 24 stone behemoth that didn’t care what he ate, drank or looked like.

Well I’m happy to say he no longer exists and to everyone out there who prefers to live in denial and not care anymore, I say to you; there is hope. Take things one day at a time and remember; every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around.

Comments (0)

When I first approached Elaine to help me with my quest to reignite my career as an amateur jockey, I was full of expectation and innocently naïve. The task Elaine was about to undertake would test her professional
expertise and skill.

I am sure when I walked into Elaine’s office she must have thought “am I mad, do I really need the hassle of this”. My wife Gwen accompanied me to the first introductory meeting with Elaine (to make sure Elaine knew Gwen’s true feelings about this venture) with a healthy skepticism of the whole adventure. Gwen has a passion for healthy home cooking and is an avid believer in home cooked is better cooked. She is renowned as a cook
and is an accomplished host. The idea her 51 year old hubby was going to lose 3.5 stone, alter the whole house’s culinary experience did not sit well with her.

The issues were as follows:

  • Age: 51
  • State of health: Good.
  • Fitness: below par.
  • Last race: 14 years ago.
  • Gwen’s concerns: He’ll get killed, broke up or do himself an injury just trying to lose the weight.
  • Height: 6 foot.
  • Weight: just short of 14 stone.
  • BMI: 27.
  • No Jockeys license: Had to retrain and apply for a jockey’s license with the rest of the 16 year olds.
  • Time line: Racing at the Punchestown Festival meeting in 7 months at 11 stone 3. lbs.
  • Spare time………NONE.

Elaine agreed to take me on and developed a diet sheet for me and selection of foods that would sustain me with sufficient strength to train, lose weight, get fit and stay healthy. I met with Elaine on a two week cycle for the first few visits and I was surprised how steady the weight began to reduce and move toward the target. While determination, motivation and discipline are required I can honestly say the whole experience was not difficult. It became a focus in its self. I enjoyed the whole experience, the weight loss, the newly found fitness, the jockey status, the thrill of race work and developing the skill necessary to do the assessment for the license. I rode that first race at the Punchestown festival and wore
a head cam to provide TV coverage of the day.

The bug had struck and it did not stop there. By the July meeting in Leopardstown I rode in four weekly summer races on the flat at 10 stone 4 lbs.!! I rode in the Galway festival meeting and again in Ballinrobe. In all I rode 6 times but my main ambition was to Race over the Fences and Hurdles and this was achieved on February 16th in Clonmel over a 2 mile 1 furlong, my first race over the sticks where I finished 3rd within length of the winner. What a spin…….

If any of you are starting out on your goal to lose weight take time to read this again and place your faith in Elaine to get you there. I am now 54, fit holding my weight at 11 stone and loving every minute of it. I have also the added pleasure of listening to my grandson telling his friends about his granddad winning races. Go ahead and stick with the objective and you WILL get there.

Comments (0)

Since my teens I have always suffered with my bowel and would frequently experience stomach pains, especially if I had just eaten a meal regardless of the portion size. I would never have been able to go out for a meal late in the evening. The symptoms also got bad when on holidays as my diet would be different and I would be eating out more.

In 2011 I was advised by my doctor that the symptoms I had linked to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I had
tried all types of diets, high fibre, low fibre and I had significantly reduced dairy products from my diet. I was taking medication to reduce the spasms in my stomach and using remedies for diarrhoea or constipation depending on the day.

I was recommended by my Doctor to attend Elaine McGowan. Elaine was very friendly and immediately put my mind at rest. Elaine explained the low FODMAP diet that I was going to use. She provided clear guidelines for the diet and advised that I would need to be strict on the diet for 4 weeks and then we would start to re- introduce foods.

Elaine provided a list of the foods that I could eat and where I could purchase these foods. Being a very fussy eater I didn’t think that I could obey the guidelines for 4 weeks. Week 1 was very hard adjusting to new foods and when doing my weekly shop reading the ingredients in foods.

Once I got started, I immediately noticed a difference in my health, no stomach pains and I had so much energy. I feel so much healthier. As an added bonus I am now able to eat out later than usual with no side effects.

As the weeks have gone by I have not looked back to my old lifestyle, I am so happy that I went to get dietary advice, definitely a lifestyle change. I would highly recommend a visit to Elaine.

“Over the years, I’ve tried all kinds of diets – wheat-free, gluten-free, highfibre, low-fi bre – and thought I had finally identified the triggers for my lingering IBS.

I thought I knew what caused the bloating, discomfort and pain, but I was wrong. In my wildest imagination, I never thought that a simple, healthy food like an apple could be a problem until Elaine told me about a dietary therapy
for IBS called the low FODMAP diet.

Researchers have pinpointed a number of molecules in food (called FODMAPs) which are poorly absorbed in people with IBS. The list of my trigger foods included some of my favourites – onions, garlic, apples, honey– and under Elaine’s supervision and guidance, I tried rationing some and eliminating others.

I kept a food diary and, within four weeks, all my symptoms had improved. And the improvement was lasting. Occasionally, I’ll let the diet slip or will feel a little off after eating out or indulging during a holiday, but it’s easy enough to get back on track.

I miss my apple a day – and the onions and garlic – but the low FODMAP regime has not been very difficult to follow. I have cut out pasta and most bread, but find that I get away with a little wheat at breakfast and, best of all for this sweet-toothed person, some chocolate and ice cream.

There is still plenty of choice at mealtimes: meat, fish, eggs, tofu, basmati rice and potatoes, plus a carefully chosen selection of fruit and veg. For me, coffee is an irritant too, but I still haven’t succeeded in kicking the early-morning
caffeine habit.In the meantime, though, I find the low FODMAP diet very helpful, and refreshingly easy to follow.”

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.”

IBS-Patient-Story“I’d always been a big girl with little confidence, but this began to change the day I was referred to Elaine. At the age of
22 I was a sufferer of IBS and was weighing 17 stone at 5ft 4in tall. My Limerick based Gastroenterologist referred me to Elaine. She carried out investigations and diagnosed IBS. She advised that I required a dietary approach to treat my IBS and for weight management.

When I first met Elaine I barely spoke to her or even lifted my head, now when I go to see her she can’t shut me up. Before I met Elaine my social life was nonexistent and having to buy clothes was always an upsetting experience. I would never shop in Penneys, as the only thing in the shop that would fit me were the socks!

Elaine gave me a plan of what foods I should avoid with my IBS and what foods I could eat and what foods I couldn’t eat.
By following this and doing some exercise, I managed to clear my IBS symptoms and lost weight each month. As my waistline began to shrink the opposite was happening with my confidence. It’s been a long journey, but I couldn’t have done it without the help and support from Elaine, my family and friends.

It is two years later now and I currently weigh just under 10.5 stone and have lost 7 stone. I just want to let people know that you don’t have to have surgery or use diet pills to lose weight.

Personally, I have tried the diet pills and from my own experiences I would never recommend them and as for surgery why spend a fortune and put yourself through the pain, when following a specialized diet and doing some exercise can get you the same results.

People don’t recognize me anymore and it’s not just about my physical appearance, I have changed as a person, I have
become more confident and outgoing. I now actually have a social life and going shopping is no longer a chore, it’s
something I love to do!”

“I have had problems with my stomach for a very long time – probably since I was about 12. My symptoms were really uncomfortable: bad heart burn which, in turn, caused chest pain, cramps in my stomach and diarrhoea.

“I had an operation last year to reduce the amount of acid in my stomach. Despite this, I still felt unwell, although the symptoms weren’t to the extent they were before the operation. Still, I was taking 40 micrograms of Nexium a day, as well as lots of Gaviscon!

“I would found it extremely difficult to eat out or to eat different foods and I began eating the same meals all the time to avoid upsetting my stomach. I also lost a lot of weigh as, when my stomach became sore, I wouldn’t eat and, as a result, I was often very tired and run down.

“I felt awful about it all and, to be honest, I wondered was I going a little crazy because my stomach was always at me!

“What finally encouraged me to see a specialist again was that I didn’t like how skinny I had become and I was becoming worried about my health. I went to see my GP and she referred me to a Consultant Gastroenterologist who, in turn, referred me to Elaine.

“At first, I was a little unsure as I didn’t think Elaine would be able to tell me anything new about my diet as I thought I had figured out what foods irritated my problem myself. Also, I had seen so many doctors in the past and as none of them had referred me to a dietitian so I assumed that, if it was going to have an impact on my condition that surely I would have been sent to see a dietitian years ago.

“How wrong I was. I only went to see Elaine once and the diet plan she gave me improved my condition so dramatically that I didn’t feel the need to go back. I am delighted that I have put on the amount of weight I felt I needed to in order to be healthy.

“It’s amazing – I feel a hundred times better than I did before seeing Elaine. In fact, I haven’t felt this good in years. Once I stick to the diet, I have very little acid reflux. Also, the cramps in my stomach have gone and my bowel movements are back to being normal.

“I have also been able to cut down on the acid reflux tablets I was taking. I was often taking one and, sometimes, even two 40 microgram tablets of Nexium each day. Now, I only take one maybe once a week, if even.

“Of course, I have the odd day when I come off the diet because I’m craving something I shouldn’t have, but I end up feeling so bad that it’s just not worth it so I am normally quite good at sticking to the diet.

“I would highly recommend Elaine as she is friendly, very approachable and she knows so much about all aspects of the diet. I am very glad I went to see her and finally had a solution to my stomach problems.”

Categories : Patient Stories
Comments (0)

“Predictable is one way I would certainly not describe my life, or my diet. My job means that I could be in Dublin today, Galway tomorrow and Cork the next day. This is all very exciting and ever changing for me, but unfortunately my diet suffered as a result. I would go long periods without eating and then would crave convenient, usually sugary foods which provided an instant lift.

As with all things that give an instant lift, the result of any
boost may also mean a come down. This come down would
leave me feeling bloated, sluggish, lethargic, and
began to affect my mood. I
suffered with Irritable Bowel
Syndrome (IBS) which was
often exacerbated by the
unpredictable hours I ate.
Days could pass and
still there would be no
release from this feeling of
bloatedness and I would suffer
days on end of constipation.
My waistline was also feeling
the effects of this. I’m fi ve
foot and always had a small
frame but in later years the
clothes sizes just seemed to
be going up with the older I
got. My fi nal breaking point
was when I was going away
for a weekend and I spent
hours packing clothes trying
to mastermind ways to hide
my lumps and bumps. I went
away for the weekend and
normally I am the fi rst on
the dance fl oor, not needing
alcohol or encouragement,
but this time, I felt my
confi dence wouldn’t allow
me to get up off the chair. I
decided maybe I needed a
few new clothes to boost me
a little, so I went shopping,
but all I could fi nd were
clothes that reminded me of
something people climbing
Mount Everest might use
for accommodation!! When
I tried on a top and the
only top that would fi t was
a size 20, I knew action had
to be taken. AT 5 foot, I
was getting as wide as I was
tall, and my confi dence was
I attended Elaine in
April 2010, and weighed
over 12 stone. I explained
to Elaine that my lifestyle
was not something that
would allow me to hours
on end over steamers or
blenders concocting magical
diet recipes from different
variations of green vegetables
and drinking something
which resembled product
from an underground sewer!
Thankfully, the diet was
practical and easily fi tted
into my daily routine. I
was given a plan fi rstly to
target my IBS, and within a
week, I was feeling results,
the constipation was easing,
and my energy levels were
getting a genuine boost,
without the comedown I’d
experienced previously from
sugary foods. This gave me
the motivation to continue
and that persistence was
rewarded when I returned
to Elaine after 3 weeks and
had lost 7 pounds. I was
ecstatic!! I followed my plan
and was able to introduce
light exercise, which involved
swimming. I would have never
described myself as a strong
swimmer, but I started out

“Predictable is one way I would certainly not describe my life, or my diet. My job means that I could be in Dublin today, Galway tomorrow and Cork the next day. This is all very exciting and ever changing for me, but unfortunately my diet suffered as a result. I would go long periods without eating and then would crave convenient, usually sugary foods which provided an instant lift.


As with all things that give an instant lift, the result of any boost may also mean a come down. This come down would leave me feeling bloated, sluggish, lethargic, and began to affect my mood. I suffered with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which was often exacerbated by the unpredictable hours I ate.

Days could pass and still there would be no release from this feeling of bloatedness and I would suffer days on end of constipation. My waistline was also feeling the effects of this. I’m five foot and always had a small frame but in later years the clothes sizes just seemed to be going up with the older I got. My final breaking point was when I was going away for a weekend and I spent hours packing clothes trying to mastermind ways to hide my lumps and bumps. I went away for the weekend and normally I am the first on the dance floor, not needing alcohol or encouragement, but this time, I felt my confidence wouldn’t allow me to get up off the chair. I decided maybe I needed a few new clothes to boost me a little, so I went shopping, but all I could find were clothes that reminded me of something people climbing Mount Everest might use for accommodation!! When I tried on a top and the only top that would fit was a size 20, I knew action had to be taken.

AT 5 foot, I was getting as wide as I was tall, and my confidence was imploding. I attended Elaine in April 2010, and weighed over 12 stone. I explained to Elaine that my lifestyle was not something that would allow me to hours on end over steamers or blenders concocting magical diet recipes from different variations of green vegetables and drinking something which resembled product from an underground sewer!

Thankfully, the diet was practical and easily fitted into my daily routine. I was given a plan firstly to target my IBS, and within a week, I was feeling results, the constipation was easing, and my energy levels were getting a genuine boost, without the comedown I’d experienced previously from sugary foods. This gave me the motivation to continue and that persistence was rewarded when I returned to Elaine after 3 weeks and had lost 7 pounds. I was ecstatic!!

I followed my plan and was able to introduce light exercise, which involved swimming. I would have never described myself as a strong swimmer, but I started out doing 4 lengths in the pool and progressed it every week. I can honestly say at no stage did I feel hungry…. infact the opposite, I was constantly full.

I now go to the swimming pool about 4 times a week, and despite my unpredictable schedule, I always seem to find time for it. My energy levels are unrecognisable to me, I’ve not had this much energy in a long time. My confidence as result of losing weight and feeling good has really been the driving motivation to continue the exercise and healthy eating. My IBS has improved dramatically and I rarely suffer with constipation now.

I am now down to 10 stone and am buying size 10 and 12 clothes. The compliments I’ve received since losing the weight have been real encouragement to me, but it’s the confidence, energy and zest of life again that has really been the motivation to keep going.

My lifestyle is still as hectic as ever, but this time my eating has adapted healthily into that whirlwind schedule! The only problem now is -Dragging me off that dancefl oor!”

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.