National IBS conference hailed a success

10th May 2016

A unique conference that gave patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) the chance to express their perspectives on the condition directly to medical experts has been held in Sheffield.

Sheffield-based The IBS Network, the UK's national charity for IBS, hosted the free one-day event at the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria Hotel, Sheffield, inviting both patients and the health professionals that care for them to come together to discuss the condition. Experts who spoke at the event, which was full to capacity, included Doctors Anton Emmanuel & Alex Ford and Professor Peter Whorwell, plus a team of patient experts, including Sam Bearfoot, Angie Usher and Susan Frisby. Topics discussed included what it is like to live with IBS and what can be done about it, does the diagnosis matter, what patients can eat, what do patients want from research and how can patients work more effectively with their health professionals. The event, which coincided with the charity's 25th anniversary, also featured a cookery demonstration from food expert and nutritionist, Dr Joan Ransley, who demonstrated how people with IBS can prepare simple and delicious meals. Delegates also had chance to browse the exhibition, which offered companies the opportunity to showcase products for IBS. Dr Nick Read, chair of The IBS Network, said: -We were thrilled to attract so many delegates to our ground-breaking conference and to see that it proved so popular with both medical professionals and patients alike. -All delegates, both IBS patients and healthcare professionals emphasised the need for education and services that facilitated and guided self-care. -The presentations will be available on social media in the coming weeks. We have had some interest regarding starting self-help groups as a result of the conference and we will be developing this in the coming months. -This is the start of patients wanting to help themselves, facilitated by healthcare professionals, looking forward to a better quality of life. Headline sponsors for the conference were Symprove, with Alflorex, Silicol Gel, Entersogel and Irwin Mitchell sponsoring other elements throughout the day. IBS is the name given to a long-term gastrointestinal condition, characterised by a combination of otherwise unexplained symptoms that affect the colon or large intestine. These include abdominal pain and spasms, often relieved by going to the toilet, diarrhoea, constipation or an erratic bowel habit, as well as bloating or swelling of the abdomen. For more information about The IBS Network, visit, email or phone the IBS Network on 0114 272 3253.

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