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How Lauren Ended a Decade of Bloating, Flatulence and Diarrhoea

Many clients are attracted to The Thrive Practice by a desire to relieve symptoms that have plagued them for so long. Symptoms that conventional medicine is often ill-equipped to resolve and so tend to manage. 

This was Lauren’s reasoning when she approached us.

Lauren was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in her late twenties. IBS is a chronic and debilitating condition and is the third biggest cause of people taking days off work. In the UK, the disease has an incidence and prevalence of 17% overall, with a higher prevalence in women (23%) compared to men (11%). IBS has hugely negative impacts on individuals’ social and quality of life. And this was no different for Lauren. She was regularly declining social invitations; when she did accept invitations, it was conditional on factors that meant she wouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable and, most importantly, wouldn’t be caught short. 

This was no way to live, and Lauren knew it.

Science suggests that several linked factors contribute to IBS; these include a genetic predisposition, low-grade inflammation, diet, problems with the gut microbiota and disturbances in the gut-brain axis. Another significant factor is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Lauren was keen to resolve these issues once and for all, but her doctors had said there was little they could do but help manage the condition’s impact. 

 

Bloating, Pain, Constipation and Diarrhoea

Lauren worked long hours in a law firm and had found herself avoiding her usual work attire favouring more comfortable clothing; she was tired of colleagues and strangers on the tube thinking she was pregnant. She often skipped meals in a bid to avoid bloating and any embarrassment. On rare occasions when Lauren did eat, it was usually while completing work at her desk or on the go. She regularly alternated between constipation and diarrhoea and always felt tired. This inevitably had a knock-on effect on Lauren’s ability to attend her favourite HIIT class, becoming increasingly less appealing. Finally, and most shocking, Lauren had recently started noticing lapses in concentration which was far from ideal given her work environment; she needed to be on top of her game at all times. 

It was the final straw. Lauren was ready to resolve her symptoms to get back to living again.

 

Gut Microbiome Testing

After our initial 60-minute consultation with Lauren, we sent her a SIBO breath test and a comprehensive gut health test to take. Alongside these tests, we also provided some initial lifestyle recommendations to schedule lunch into her diary as she would a client and not complete work while eating. It’s essential to be in a calm state of mind whenever eating to ensure that we can properly digest and absorb our food.

Lauren’s gut tests were positive for SIBO, highlighting an imbalance in her gut microbiota (dysbiosis) and an overgrowth of yeast. 

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Resolving gut symptoms

We developed a personalised holistic plan with Lauren that incorporated diet and lifestyle strategies to heal her gut and resolve her symptoms.

Lauren’s plan included a short-term elimination diet that removed refined carbohydrates and sugar. After treating her SIBO and dysbiosis with high-quality, pharmaceutical-strength herbal antimicrobials, we eliminated high FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) foods from her diet. We followed this with a gut healing programme, which replaces digestive enzymes and juices, builds back her gut microbiota after using antimicrobials and supports the intestinal cell regrowth, dulling the inflammation and establishing a healthy gut mucosa.

We asked Lauren to reduce her HIIT sessions as strenuous exercise can have adverse effects on the integrity of the gut lining and can put individuals at greater risk of leaky gut syndrome. On the days when she was no longer doing HIIT classes, Lauren walked, did yoga or swam.

We asked Lauren to incorporate other lifestyle practices, including deep breathing exercises to help stimulate the vagus nerve and get her gut moving more regularly, stress management practices, and continue scheduling her lunch break.

Lauren worked with us for four months and made remarkable progress. She is no longer perpetually bloated, is back to more appropriate workwear and, most notably for her, has greater focus and more energy. Repeat testing showed significant improvement in all of Lauren’s biomarkers, and she has been able to slowly reintroduce the high FODMAPs foods that she loved but had previously bothered her. “I feel like a new woman; this has given me a new lease on life.”

We were able to help Lauren because of her commitment to her health, her willingness to try a new evidence-based approach and her desire to bring an end to her symptoms. By working with The Thrive Practice, you too could achieve lasting results and relief from various health conditions, including digestive health concerns.

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We specialise in helping people feel well again, by using functional and lifestyle medicine. It’s an approach to health and healing that addresses the root cause of illness or symptoms. This technique seeks not only to re-establish good health but also avoid disease in the first place.