Nutritionist offers advice on how to keep your gut healthy

BUPA estimates that between one and two in ten people in the UK are thought to have IBS.

It is a condition that develops at any age but it is most common for symptoms to start between the ages of 20 and 30.

Nicola Russell has been a nutritionist for eight years, specialising in gut health.

She said: “You will find that most practitioners specialise in the area they do because they suffered with it themselves.


“So, in my case the reason I trained as a nutritionist, and then focused on IBS, was because I suffered with it for 20 years before seeing a nutritionist myself who transformed my life.

“Also, after training, you realise that everything starts in the gut. However, you don’t just ever focus on one area, you must take the whole body into consideration.”

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Nicola is based in Midhurst and practices from the Cowdray Therapy rooms and online via Zoom.

Nicola suggests eating a number of fruit and veg in an array of colours. Picture: Unsplash

The common problems people see Nicola with are on-going constipation, diarrhoea either separately or both, wind, bloating and reflux.

Nicola said: “The best advice I can give is to ensure you are eating a good variety of foods.

“Our gut bacteria feed off fibre so we need to make sure we are eating lots of vegetables and in all colours (at least seven a day).

“Also, stress affects our digestion. My clients look at me like I’m mad sometimes as they come to talk about nutrition and I’m more focused on stress.

“However, the gut and brain are linked, think butterflies in your tummy when you’re nervous, so if you are stressed, your digestion will be affected.”

Nicola also runs a 4 Step to IBS Freedom programme. It is an individual package at the moment but she is hoping to roll it out as a group programme at some point in the future.

She said: “I developed this system as to address IBS (and any system imbalance) you need to look at stress, sleep and exercise as well as nutrition – a holistic approach (although hate that word!). You can eat clean and green and exercise but if you’re highly stressed you could still have digestive issues.”

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