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Could IBS be causing your bloating?

By Ann Shaw – Nutritionist

IBS, (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder, typically characterised by abdominal pain and bloating and often constipation and diarrhoea. In my experience, I would say that one in three people consult me with a host of symptoms that are associated with IBS, including Candida Albicans. Research suggests that IBS affects up to one in five people in the UK at some stage of their life.

It can be exasperating when you have tried everything from elimination diets, the fodmap diet, the candida diet, excluding commonly known triggers such as gluten and dairy, over-the-counter remedies and many other hopeful solutions. But, one area you may have not thought to investigate is parasite infestation, the symptoms of which can mimic IBS.

Millions of people have parasites without realising, but they conclude it must be IBS. Some patients who have had a stool test from their doctor have received a clear result, as a single test may not detect the cycle of parasites when they are in a dormant egg stage. To properly explore what is happening, a group of three samples are required over a number of days, using functional laboratory testing. These tests will also detect other pathogens, which may be contributing to your overall health issues.

One patient with IBS symptoms told me that she felt permanently disorientated and could hardly walk from the door to my desk when she first came to see me. Laboratory testing confirmed she had many parasites, and it was not until we tackled these, that she regained her health again. Some parasites are very resistant and difficult to get rid of, and each requires a specific form of treatment. So attempting to treat the condition with a generic treatment, such as herbs, or antibiotics without knowing the exact strains you may be suffering from is pointless.

Parasites need tackling because they rob your nutrients and impair your immune system. Weakened immunity significantly increases the risk of infection by these unwanted organisms, and parasites are no exception. They can be transmitted surprisingly easily, from fruit and vegetables that have not been washed properly, walking bare-foot on the beach, animals, tap water, raw fish, babies nappies and food poisoning.

These are some of the symptoms associated with parasites:

Abdominal Pain & Cramps, Anal Itching, Anaemia , Nausea, Diarrhoea, Anorexia, Distension/Bloating, Overweight, Arthritis,Dysentry, Autoimmune Disease, Fatigue, Bloody Stools, Fever, Chronic Fatigue, Flatulance, Colitis, Food Allergy
Constipation, Foul Smelling Stools, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, Depressed Siga, Rash And Itching Of The Skin, Headaches, Low Back Pain, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Malabsorption, Altered Intestinal Permeability, Nervousness, Irregular Bowel Movements, Irritability, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Weight Loss, Joint & Muscle Aches & Pains, Skin Conditions, Sleep Disturbances, Rectal Bleeding, Teeth Grinding, Urticaria, Vomiting

You may be experiencing some of the above symptoms, in which case please contact me, and I will be happy to help you. My approach is to look at the underlying causes of your IBS symptoms, some of which can be Candida, Parasites, Stress, Dysbiosis, Bacterial infection or Food Allergies.

If you find yourself suffering multiple food allergies or any of the above symptoms, consider parasite infestation as a possibility.

Written by TCHP Resident Nutrition Expert – Ann Shaw  DThD.DNMed.T.A.S.K.M.BANT.NTCC.CNHC


For more information contact the clinic or call the clinic on 01372 464659

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Allergy Testing Claygate, Surrey


By Ann Shaw

Have you suddenly become aware of gradual weight-gain that feels like it isn’t going to stop? A lack of energy and motivation? Low libido? Erratic or heavy periods? Mood changes, hot flushes and sleep problems? Have you noticed hair loss? Faced with all these symptoms can be overwhelming for many women particularly if you don’t have a clue what is happening to you. Well, it is quite common because these can be the symptoms of being perimenopausal and typically they start at around the age of 40, although sometimes late 30’s.

Some women may experience depression, insomnia or anxiety some while before the onset of perimenopause, but by paying attention to your diet and ensuring that it is nutrient-dense as well as balancing your hormones with the correct dosages of good quality supplements, can make all the difference. Balancing your hormones is vitally important so that you do not become high or low in either oestrogen or progesterone. Throughout perimenopause, there can be a huge change in your hormone production as the cycles become more unreliable and anovulatory (without ovulation). This could make you feel as though you have permanent premenstrual tension and affect your functionality, but this can be addressed with if you go about it correctly.

Progesterone (which help keep oestrogen in balance), can be constantly low at the Perimenopause which can be termed as a progesterone deficiency. The symptoms of low progesterone can be much heavier periods lasting longer than usual. This can be coupled with uncomfortable and swollen breasts as well as weight-gain. There can be increased irritability and mood swings which can be higher oestrogen to progesterone balance.

As you near the menopause, your periods can change by becoming more erratic and you may experience vaginal dryness and hot flushes because oestrogen is gradually decreasing. It is at this time that you must take care to balance your blood sugar levels and avoid becoming adrenally exhausted through stress. Our adrenal glands are important because they supply oestrogen and progesterone to keep hormonal balance. You are far more likely to acquire ‘belly fat’ as it is known, if your adrenals do not supply an adequate amount of oestrogen.

To avoid menopausal symptoms and going on to HRT I would advise keeping off the foods you know you are allergic to, ensuring the correct dosage of zinc, magnesium and essential fatty acids. I had already avoided the foods I knew were wrong for me for quite a number of years, so that bit was easy. I then made sure I always took the correct supplements, particularly zinc, magnesium and fish oils. My menopause lasted eight years without a single symptom. I remember being late for two appointments which brought on a 2-3 minute warm feeling whilst driving and that was it.

Look to eat healthily to boost your nutrients including foods that contain good healthy fats such as avocados, organic virgin coconut oil, fish oils and oily fish. Fibre from fresh vegetables. Phytoestrogens from oats, fruit, vegetables, sage, seeds, garlic and fennel, and of course lean protein from meat, fish, nuts and seeds. Look to avoid canned, fizzy drinks, caffeine and too much alcohol and make sure to stabilise your blood sugar levels and exercise regularly. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking the appropriate vitamin/mineral supplements and fish oils that are high quality, and remember the menopause is not an illness or disease but a process that we go through. If you prepare well beforehand you could sail through the menopause as I did.

Claygate, Surrey

Oestrogen Dominance

By Ann Shaw – Nutritionist at TCHP.

Oestrogen can cause mayhem in your body if it is not balanced with progesterone and you may find yourself facing issues such as fatigue, anxiety, headaches, infertility, PMS, uterine fibroids, depression, bloating and puffiness, endometriosis, thyroid, hot flushes/night sweats, heavy periods and gall-bladder issues, weight-gain around your hips, waist and thighs is a typical example.

What causes oestrogen dominance? Soya, dairy, meat, wheat, cosmetics in your body from chemicals and phthalates, tap water, The Birth Pill, HRT, chronic stress, BPA’s, plastics, heavy metals, body fat and scented candles. Xenoestrogens are industrial chemicals that mimic the behaviour of oestrogens and we are constantly exposed to them in our environment, foods, furniture, clothes, growth hormones in commercially bred animals, pesticides and herbicides.

Sugar can disrupt the hormone insulin in the body and insulin is closely connected to all of the other hormones in your body, including oestrogen and testosterone. Tap water also contains pesticides, fertilisers and synthetic and natural oestrogens from drug medications and livestock, chemicals, arsenic and other metals. Scented candles burn phthalates which are released into the air where they may be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Once they enter the bloodstream, they can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms in some people, and have been found to alter hormone levels. A 100% soya candle will release small amounts of the carcinogens and toxins found in paraffin. Again, most soya candles on the market are not 100% soya and contain a high percentage of paraffin.

Cosmetics and body products and toothpastes are directly absorbed through the bloodstream and contain parabens, phthalates and other disruptive chemicals, many of which interfere with hormones. Look out also for plastics and ‘Bisphenol A’ which is a hormone disruptor. Oestrogen is inflammatory and weakens the intestinal lining, worsens Hashimotos Thyroid and autoimmune conditions, making you feel extremely tired, but there are a number of ways to address this inflammation.

Supporting gut healing with appropriate foods and supplements is a starting point. Look at your diet, environment and lifestyle factors as these are important to balance your oestrogen and progesterone levels, rather than one dominating the other.

For more information on Nutrition and allergy testing click here

If you would like to find out more please contact reception on 01372 464659 and ask to speak to Ann Shaw.