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National charity to hold IBS conference

A national charity, which offers information, advice and support to people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), is to hold a unique conference that gives patients the chance to express their perspectives on IBS directly to medical experts.

Sheffield-based The IBS Network, the UK’s national charity for IBS, will host the free one day event on 16 April 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 speaking at the one day event, which coincides with the charity’s 25th anniversary, include Dr Anton Emmanuel and Professors Qasim Aziz and Peter Whorwell, and a team of patient experts, including Sam Bearfoot, Angie Usher and Susan Frisby.

Topics to be discussed will include 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 will also feature a cookery demonstration from food expert and nutritionist, Dr Joan Ransley, who will demonstrate how people with IBS can prepare simple and delicious meals.  Delegates will also have chance to browse the exhibition, which offers companies the opportunity to showcase products for IBS.

The conference is sponsored by Symprove, Alflorex, Silicol Gel, Entersogel and Irwin Mitchell.

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.

It affects around a third of the population at some point in their lives and about one in ten people suffer symptoms severe enough to seek help from their GP.

Dr Nick Read, the chair of The IBS Network, who is also a gastroenterologist and psychotherapist, said: “IBS is an individual condition that many patients can learn to manage themselves as long as they understand the nature of the illness, how it is related to a person’s life style and circumstances, and what treatments and changes can work.

“The conference is a fantastic opportunity for patients with IBS to express what matters to them to the medical experts and hear their responses.”

Through membership, the IBS network provides access to specialist healthcare professionals for medical advice, use of the IBS Network Medical Helpline which offers confidential support and guidance from specialist advisors.

Tickets for the conference are free of charge to health care professionals and those living with IBS.  However, for those who are representatives of, or employed by, a commercial company, tickets are £25.

To book a place at this ground-breaking conference,  visit, email or phone the IBS Network on 0114 272 3253.

Nick Read
Dr Nick Read

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