“I have suffered from IBS for about 10 years. I have always just “put up with” the symptoms, dealing the best I could in social situations and buying over the counter medication if my symptoms got very bad. After having my two children my symptoms seem to have got worse, I am not sure why. My symptoms got so bad I started becoming very embarrassed in front of my husband. I am a pharmacist and a teacher and came across the FODMAP diet which is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). I thought if NICE recommend it, I should give low FODMAP a go. The guidelines recommend that you use a qualified dietitian so using Google I came across Debra Thomas. Debra explained everything really well to me and at first it seems very daunting, but once you can the hang of what you can and can’t eat it’s ok. It took the full 8 weeks for me to be completely clear of symptoms but I started feeling better even after the first week. I am now starting the reintroduction phase to find out which foods trigger my symptoms. I love being in control of my body and don’t feel embarrassed anymore. “- CM, Cardiff
“To say IBS ruled my life for a number of years is an understatement. It affected my work and social life, I even missed out on a number of holidays with friends. Eventually my GP told me about the FODMAP diet but just gave me a sheet of the foods to avoid. I found it very difficult to follow without clear instructions and was not aware there was a reintroduction process. Since meeting Debra and having her help with the FODMAP diet, my life has changed dramatically. To be honest, at first I did find it a little difficult to follow, but it became easier as I got into it and now I am confident so find it easy.
My family has commented on how much more confident I am now and how I am getting back to my old self. I am now sleeping throughout the night again, as I’m no longer being woken up with stomach cramps. I cannot thank Debra enough as without her I would still be in a situation of anxiousness being controlled by IBS and feeling so very down.”- CW, Swansea
“I have suffered from IBS symptoms for 30 years. After trying various ‘remedies’ without success, and having the symptoms for so long, I’d accepted that I would have to live with the condition. It has affected me most days of the week impacting on my work and social life and sometimes resulting in a lot of anxiety.”- GP, Bridgend
“Since starting the Low FODMAP diet under the guidance of my dietitian, Debbie Thomas, I have seen a dramatic improvement in my condition! Some symptoms have been eradicated and I now feel far more confident going about my daily business. I’m now about to start reintroducing high FODMAPS foods to identify which foods I’m most sensitive to.” – SG, longstanding IBS sufferer, Penarth
“I have suffered from IBS my whole life, I’m 52 now, but over the last few years, it has been dibilatating. Every time I leave the house my family had to wait for me to take several trips to the toilet, every time they had a shower, I was banging on the door because I needed to use the toilet. Every time I finally left the house our trip had to be carefully planned so that I knew where the toilets were on the way, and when I got there. I was a bit sceptical at first but I decided to try the Fodmap diet and to my surprise it really worked. I now know what my triggers are and what food to avoid, and now going out with my family and going on long journeys is an absolute pleasure. I can’t recommend this treatment highly enough.”– EK, Bridgend
“Having had a series of complex surgeries I had adjusted to living with IBS symptoms. The low FODMAP diet, introduced with Debra’s expert knowledge, has allowed me to identify foods which trigger symptoms. The improvement in my energy levels has transformed my quality of life.”– TT, Pembrokeshire
“I would like to say a massive thank you for the support you have given me while I’ve been following the low FODMAP diet. I’ve been suffering with IBS for around 15 years I had come to accept that my symptoms were never going to go away and I did my best to just put up with them. To say that the Low FODMAP diet is life changing, for me personally is no exaggeration. For years, my days would revolve around the toilet. Any plans I made would be based around whether there was a toilet nearby. It affected my relationship as my partner would think that I was choosing to spend so much time in the bathroom to get away from her. It also affected my confidence in work as even though they were always extremely supportive, I was very conscious of how much time I was having to take away from my desk. I’m delighted to say that my symptoms have improved dramatically. I am now able to spend more of my time doing the things I enjoy, without constantly worrying whether there is a toilet nearby. I can spend more quality time at home with my partner and it has lifted my confidence in work as I am now more productive. I would recommend the Low FODMAP diet to anybody who suffers with IBS.” – PL, Pencoed
“I just wanted to thank you for your advice as the low FODMAP diet and the knowledge I have gained has had a huge effect on my wellbeing. In fact, I feel now that I am a much more resilient person.” – SR, Bridgend
“When I was diagnosed with IBS the Consultant Gastroenterologist gave me a sheet of paper on FODMAPs and sent me on my way. It didn’t take a lot of research to realise that I needed help to do it properly. From the start Debra’s professional approach inspired confidence. She explained everything thoroughly and following the FODMAP diet wasn’t nearly as complicated as I feared. My husband followed the diet with me and his symptoms improved in the first week. When I didn’t see such rapid results, Debra came up with further advice. I’m in week four and my symptoms are improving steadily. The FODMAP diet is an effective way of managing IBS but I couldn’t have done it without the benefit of Debra’s extensive knowledge and experience.” – KD, Swansea
“I have suffered from IBS for over 30 years and like most people have tried many approaches to dealing with it and learnt to settle for living with managing the symptoms as best I can and thinking that was as good as it would get. However, working with Debra has been a revelation!!! I never thought I would be able to live without the symptoms until now and it is amazing! Life is so much freer, lighter, enjoyable and relaxed!
Debra’s consummate professional expertise and interpersonal skills will give you confidence that you can follow the diet, which is tough but worth the sacrifice and effort, and she is always available with advice when you need it. If you are wondering if the FODMAP process is worth trying then my advice would be an emphatic YES! It will change your life.” – JH, Porthcawl
“I was a little concerned about starting the strict diet, but I noticed within a few days that my symptoms of bloating, fluctuating bowel movements and stomach cramps were improving. I even had more energy and was not rushing to the bathroom so often. The booklets are very informative and become your FODMAP bible that goes everywhere with you. When I started the reintroductions I had pre-conceived ideas about my ‘trigger foods’, but I was actually wrong and wheat seems to be my issue. A tip I would pass on about the reintroductions is that if you have a reaction to a challenge, you do need to wait for your symptoms to subside before going straight into another food challenge, otherwise you end up wondering if your still suffering from the previous reintroduction. I would recommend this diet to anyone with IBS symptoms. The changes are so significant in a short space of time. Once completed you will know your demon foods and can live quite comfortably again. Thanks Debra” – LC, Newport
“Debra, I just had to drop a line and thank you for all your help with my IBS. It has been such a help to learn which foods trigger my symptoms. I now have a much better understanding of how I can take back control of my symptoms instead of them controlling me. Without your help I would be in constant pain and discomfort. The books you provided were so helpful and I refer to them often, again thank you for all your help. Food is now a pleasure again” – JC, Cardiff
“Having suffered with IBS for the last 15 years discovering the low FODMAP diet has changed my life. At times it is very difficult and certainly challenging but with Debra’s help and guidance it is achievable. I have found Deb very professional, understanding and patient at all times. Following the diet is a big commitment and you need to focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t and with Deb’s experience it can be done. My life is now nearly normal and Deb has helped me work out my trigger foods so I can lead a normal life. I cannot speak highly enough of Deb and her commitment and would recommend her to any fellow IBS sufferers.” – TA, Penhow
“As long as I can remember I have suffered with stomach cramps and acid reflux and it dominated my life down to what I wore to the way that I slept. I tried so many things to try to relieve the symptoms including following a gluten free diet, cutting out caffeine, using soy products, etc. but none of these fully worked. When I met Deb to discuss the low FODMAP diet I was willing to try anything, but if I’m honest I wasn’t confident it would work – I could not have been more wrong! With Deb’s support, I was able to grasp the concept of the low FODMAP diet and learned which foods I could eat and which aggravated my IBS and it has totally changed my life. I cannot thank Deb enough for her commitment and encouragement and I could not recommend her and the low FODMAP diet more highly.” – JC, Roath, Cardiff
“I’m so glad I tried the low FODMAP diet. I was really fed up with the symptoms of IBS – the cramps, the pain and the bloating. I used to try not to eat before work so that I wouldn’t need the loo. My best advice would be to try not to worry about the foods you CAN’T eat and instead focus on the foods you CAN eat.
I went out and stocked up on suitable foods and then just went for it!
Within days the symptoms subsided and then gradually disappeared completely. So far, so good…” – NT, Bridgend
“Within a week of starting the diet all my abdominal pain went and my constant tiredness had gone too! This helped not just me but my wife and one year old son too, I became a lot more of a helpful dad as I didn’t just want to sleep all the time. FODMAP became a huge talking point within the house and with anyone I came in contact with. 3 weeks in and I am feeling a lot better within myself. The food wasn’t boring, as my main meals still consisted of any kind of meat and a number of things to go with it. At this stage I also felt confident of going out with mates and having a FODMAP-friendly night out with food and drink. Some places were brilliant, even asking the chef to come out and have a talk with me! We really do need restaurants, cafes and food chains to get up to speed with FODMAPs. 5 weeks have passed on the FODMAP diet and it was time to go back and see Debra. I had lost 6kg and my symptoms had gone from daily occurrence to pretty much nothing! Now it’s time to re-introduce certain foods back into my diet and find out which foods cause my abdominal pain.” – LV, Maesteg, South Wales
“Having trialled the FODMAP diet in varying degrees throughout the last 6-8 weeks I have noticed a substantial reduction in my symptoms. Sticking initially to a simplistic diet of fish, meats and low FODMAP vegetables, I experienced noticeable improvements in my daily symptoms, as well as reduced acid reflux and slight weight loss. Prior to starting the FODMAP diet my eating habits were relatively healthy, no ready meals, few takeaway, just home cooked meals mixed with plenty of fruit and veg. Discovering a typical weekly shop contained mainly items high in FODMAP sources I was forced to rethink my weekly menu choices and shopping list, however once I discovered suitable substitutes and recipes, my typical daily diet has evolved to contain low FODMAP alternatives. I’m very pleased with the results and will be continuing with the diet.” – CP, Cowbridge, South Wales
“My journey as an IBS sufferer has been ongoing and a constant battle. The hardest thing has been trying to work out what causes the symptoms and what foods to avoid, as some would leave me extremely bloated and in pain. I would often go out for meal with friends and have to leave early as it would just be too uncomfortable to stay. It really did control my ability to join in with certain tasks and my decisions would normally be based around how my tummy was feeling.
I’ve been on the FODMAP diet for around 8 weeks and I can honestly say it’s changed my life! I’ve stopped bloating up after eating meals and it’s great. It does cut quite a lot out of your normal eating but once you get used to what you can and can’t eat (the booklets are really useful and easy to read) it honestly becomes easy. I can even eat out in restaurants and not have to stress about what I can eat. I’ve also managed to do home cooking from lots of recipes I’ve found online and through Debra. As a IBS sufferer, my life has been made easier and I would recommend this diet to anyone. I hope it makes a difference to you too.” – HR, Bridgend
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