The Sensitive Gut

Understanding IBS

April is IBS Awareness Month

The IBS Network conference

…… and The IBS Network are marking it with their 2nd National Conference on IBS.

Since I retired from my role as Chair of the charity in December, 2015, I have been proud to learn that the team of trustees, advisors and staff, under the leadership of Alison Reid have continued to develop the charity, maintaining a high standard of advice and support, expanding the network of self help groups throughout the country and offering several new initiatives including support for people with IBS at work.
This year’s conference will focus on the Self Management  of IBS and what that really means to you, the patient, and to your health care professional.


Dr Anthony Hobson, founder and director of ‘The Functional Gut Clinic’, the UK’s first dedicated, independent and UKAS accredited gastrointestinal physiology service with clinics in London, Manchester and other UK regions. recently commented:

The IBS Network provides an invaluable service for patients as the ‘go to’ place for information about IBS and its causes and advises how people can take control of their condition. We really wanted to be part of this event which helps to increase education and awareness about IBS using the latest scientific data derived from credible sources.”


The programme will be chaired by Yvonne McKenzie, Clinical Lead in IBS for the Gastroenterology Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association, and will include   leading specialists in the area of IBS.

Dr Simon Smale, a gastroenterologist from York, will set the scene with a talk entitled, ‘What is IBS and why is it important?’.  He recently explained that ….  ‘Many Healthcare professionals (HCPs) have remained firmly fixed in a directive model of healthcare; we tell people what they need to do and they are expected to find ways to make the necessary changes. Sometimes this works but often people struggle to find their route to better health. Individuals know what is happening in their lives from day to day. People with symptoms are probably best placed to identify their own individual triggers. They are certainly familiar with the barriers to making any change in their lives and well placed to develop ways to overcome them.’

He will be followed by Dr Anthony Hobson, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Director at the Functional Gut Clinic, the UK’s first dedicated, independent gastrointestinal physiology service with clinics in London, Manchester and other UK regions, who will talk about the importance of breath tests to diagnose carbohydrate intolerance and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Next, Professor Peter Whorwell, a senior gastroenterologist and clinical researcher from Manchester, who has spent a lifetime conducting research in IBS, publishing key papers demonstrating the benefits of hypnotherapy and the risks of dietary fibre, will deliver what promises to be an intriguing lecture on ‘The Politics of IBS’.

In the afternoon, Dr Adam Farmer, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Clinical Researcher at The London Hospital, who was recently nominated as a rising star in gastroenterological research in Europe, will talk about the importance of ‘relationships’.    

He will be followed by Vicky Grant, who suffers with IBS herself and is a trustee of The IBS Network.  Vicky’s topic will be ‘Self care through IBS support groups’, which will no doubt include the importance of being able to tell your story and be heard.

The academic programme will conclude with the chairperson, Yvonne Mackenzie, who will present a vision of what the future might hold for people with IBS.

After each talk, there will be the opportunity for audience engagement with time for open debate and Q&As. A number of breakout sessions are also planned for smaller group discussions so that delegates can express what works for them and what they want for the future and learn from others.  There will also be a lunch time demonstration of the Food Maestro app, specially designed for people on a low FODMAP diet.

All delegates will be able to listen and contribute to discussions throughout the day, attend the trade exhibition, enjoy a tasty gut-friendly lunch and receive a delegate bag which contains a four week supply of Alflorex (valued at £24.95), a full size 200ml sample of Silicolgel (valued £8.29), a free bottle of A2 Milk and money off vouchers for Dr Schär’s gluten free products plus lots of support information.

As Alison Reid, CEO at The IBS Network, said: “Following the huge success of our first IBS conference in 2016, we are proud to be hosting the second event here in Sheffield where the charity began and has been based for over 26 years. We look forward to welcoming all our members and healthcare specialists from across the UK for an opportunity to talk openly about IBS, to overcome the embarrassment surrounding the condition and discuss how we can better support people in the future.”


The programme will conclude with this year’s Annual General Meeting of The IBS Network, at which members will be able to vote on plans for the future development of the charity.

So do join the team at the conference and enjoy what promises to be an excellent day, which will undoubtedly alter your perspective on IBS. Enrol by booking online or calling 0114 272 3253.  Tickets are available at just £5

Conference programme

Exploring the self-management of IBS and what that really means to you

Saturday 14 April 2018, Sheffield Hallam University, South Yorkshire

8:30am – 9:15am

Registration (Main entrance – The Owen building) and exhibition (The Atrium)


Welcome by conference chair (Lecture theatre)
Yvonne McKenzie, Clinical Lead in IBS for the Gastroenterology Specialist Group of the BDA


What is self-management and why is it important? (Lecture theatre) Dr Simon Smale, Gastroenterologist NHS York Trust


Open to debate Q&A


Breath, bugs and bloating (Lecture theatre) Dr Anthony Hobson, The Func onal Gut Clinic


Open to debate Q&A


The Politics of IBS (Lecture theatre)
Prof Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester


Open to debate Q&A


Breakout session.


Refreshments and exhibition (The Atrium)


What works for you? (Eight breakout sessions,)


Exhibition and lunch (The Atrium)


Lunchtime demo: Food Maestro app.


Feedback from groups to main conference (Lecture theatre)


Relationships (Lecture theatre)
Dr Adam Farmer, Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist & Lecturer, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London


Self-care through IBS support groups (Lecture theatre)
Vicky Grant, IBS patient, researcher and Trustee of The IBS Network


What do you want for the future? (Eight breakout sessions)


Refreshments and exhibition (The Atrium)


Feedback from groups to main conference (Lecture theatre)


Where to from here? (Lecture theatre)
Yvonne McKenzie, Clinical Lead in IBS for the Gastroenterology Specialist Group of the BDA


Conference close


The IBS Network AGM


AGM close


The IBS Network logo


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This entry was posted on March 28, 2018 by in Uncategorized.

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