Following on from the Bevan Exemplar project starting in 2016, this project supported the newly structured Health Board to initiate and complete a dietitian-led IBS service. The service for staff and patients in Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board resulted in 113 people being assessed, and 78 (70%) receiving full care and completing the sessions.
At the start of the session, patients were asked to complete information about the procedures they have had and the drugs they were taking to manage their symptoms. This information was also available through the patient records (where accessible). Over half reported having had invasive or other procedural interventions (54%) and almost 4 out of 5 people were taking prescribed or over the counter medication and drugs to manage their symptoms.
Following the sessions, the patients reported a drop in their symptom scores (for example improvements for nausea, abdominal pain, bloating and urgency to use the toilet). These are all associated with improved health outcomes and quality of life for people with IBS.
Personal stories and impact on symptoms
“I was experiencing consistent pain and swelling around my lower stomach that made my clothing restrictive and therefore work very uncomfortable.
I was finding that my diet was becoming more and more restrictive that it was impossible to eat very much at all. After learning about the low FODMAP diet, my symptoms had subsided within less than a week and I was able to return to work free from pain.
After struggling to fix the issue on my own for several years, I’m so happy and relieved with the results.”
“I have an underlying condition which in itself causes gastric issues which are further exacerbated by the medication I am prescribed.
After years of enduring bouts of severe gastric pain, nausea, heartburn, chronic fatigue and poor sleep, I came across the CTM Staff IBS.
I had a thorough consultation with the Dietitian and scored very high for IBS. I then embarked on the elimination diet. Almost immediately, my gastric pain disappeared and within days I was completely symptom free.
I cannot believe the difference this diet has made to my quality of life; I’ve lost weight and not only completed the couch to 5k but I’m now running 10k regularly.”
“I had been having problems with my bowels for several months which were causing me a lot of distress and disruption to my life. My hospital tests came back clear so my GP referred me to a dietitian and through the referral, I met the dietitian.
After going through my symptoms with me, she put me on a restricted low FODMAP diet for 4 weeks. The results were amazing, within a couple of days, my symptoms started to settle down and I could finally leave the house without worrying when I would need to use the toilet next!
I am now in the process of introducing some of the restricted food back into my diet with guidance from the Dietitian and am already identifying trigger foods for me. This has been life-changing for me.”