5 experts tell us everything we need to know about gut health

Happy World Microbiome Day! To learn more about how to keep your gut healthy, check out our Go With Your Gut event highlights below.

On June 26, we sat down with a panel of health and nutrition experts to discuss all things gut health, including the best foods, lifestyle choices and how it affects your overall health.

Hosted by pharmacists and MDs at Meagher’s Pharmacy Group Oonagh O’Hagan, the event includes Trisha Lewis, chef, influencer and Sharp CEO Trisha Lewis, The Gut Stuff duo Lisa Macfarlane and Alana Macfarlane Kempner and Professor Anthony O’ Symposium with Consultant Gastroenterology Connor, Tarrat University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin.

no chance to join us follow your intuition event? do not worry. We’ve put together an easy-to-read summary of key discussions. Learn more about how to take control of your gut health below.

Watch: Anything You Want

“Gut health isn’t just about digestion, it’s about digestion. It’s about so many other parts of our bodies, from the health of our skin to supporting our immune system,” says Oonagh O’Hagan. She has had IBS since her teens, and now, as a pharmacist and business leader, she expertly hosts our events.

“Taking care of our gut health is critical to our health and well-being, especially as women. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from digestive health problems every day compared to men.”

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are two common problems commonly associated with bowel problems – IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). While there are many similarities between the two, consultant gastroenterologist Dr. Antonio Connor also noted key differences.

“IBS and IBD include many of the same symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, intolerance to certain foods, pain or weight loss. As far as we know, they are both relatively common in Ireland, with IBS being more common (at least in 10% of the population) ), IBD is more common in about 40,000 people.

“With IBD, your gut is structurally abnormal; it’s inflamed, it can ulcerate, narrow, and communicate with other organs through fistulas (small tubes that run from the surface of the gut to the surface of another organ).

“With IBS, the gut appears structurally normal and intact, but is dysfunctional. Parts of the gut don’t work properly, which may be due to an imbalance. There may also be differences in visceral sensitivity, with the gut more responsive to stretching than the general population. sensitive.”

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

IBS is the second most common reason people miss work. (the first being the common cold), which shows how common this condition is. In fact, IBS can actually coexist with IBD, and both are present in up to 40% of patients with concurrent IBS.

Treatment for IBS usually includes:

  • drug Such as pain relievers, anti-diarrheal and anti-constipation drugs and antibiotics to stimulate more bowel movement and flow and help with visceral sensitivity.
  • change your diet Can have a huge impact on the gut microbiome. Dr. O’Connor runs a dietitian-led clinic for IBS patients at Tallahassee University, where 70% report an improvement in their symptoms.
  • Probiotic Products Drugs like Symprove have been very useful in select patients and have even changed the lives of IBS patients.


Gut Stuff duo Lisa Macfarlane and Alana Macfarlane Kempner have a background in DJing before entering the wellness industry. After volunteering for a health study, they found that despite being identical twins, their gut microbiomes were very different.

“The study went on for two months and found that despite eating and doing the exact same things, we only have about 30 percent of the same bacteria in our guts,” Lisa said. “This is upending our understanding of health. So we established thegutstuff.com to raise awareness.

“A lot of people came to us after the show and asked us questions. We really just wanted to empower people with knowledge. There were a lot of people with digestive issues and no one was talking about it.


“When we first started working on this, the knowledge about the microbiome was overwhelming — this ecosystem within us, around us and on us, we know nothing about our overall health, but we know nothing about our overall health. Our overall health has such a big impact.”

“Yes,” Dr. O’Connor agreed. “These terms have always been around in the culture, like ‘intuition’ and ‘do whatever you want,’ and at some point we’ve always understood that there’s a connection between the brain and the gut.”

Today, research is catching up to explain why gut health is so important to other aspects of our overall health.

healthy and varied diet

Chef, author and influencer Trisha Lewis began her weight loss journey a few years ago, focusing on living a healthier lifestyle rather than a strict diet and regimen.

Weighing 175 kg, she didn’t know where to start and how to lose weight. She considered gastric bypass surgery and tried weight loss shakes and diets, but found that the best solution was a combination of regular exercise and a delicious, nutritious diet.

“I always thought the problem was with me and that I would be happy after losing weight, but along the way, I realized the scale would never tell me how happy I was,” explains Trisha. “Right now, I’m based on my gut feeling, how I wake up, my energy level, how my skin looks and so on.

“Diet is also important, a lot of times you hear it’s 80% food and 20% diet, but I think it’s 100% and 100%. If I eat junk, I inevitably feel junk and that’s what it is The way.

“Yes, I’m still weighing myself, but scales aren’t everything. It’s one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done in my life.”

Nutritious Eating Tips


“Before I looked at my weight loss journey, I felt like I was looking at a desolate road with a bland, bland diet,” says Teresa. “But what I found with my diet was variety and no restrictions. So, I can have whatever I want, but I can’t have it all at the same time.”

Here are some important tips:

  • Open weekly — This gave me structure and variety, rather than the usual garage breakfasts and long periods of skipping meals during my time as a chef. (Teresa)
  • use color when cooking — I used rainbow delicious food. You can lose weight, but you don’t need to lose taste, you don’t need to lose joy. (Teresa)
  • eat more fiber — The recommended intake is 30 grams of fiber per day, and nine out of ten of us don’t get enough. This can be simple swaps like using browned pasta, adding spinach, and substituting lentils for some of the minced meat in the bolognese. (Lisa)
  • Eat other probiotic foods Like fermented foods and plants – these examples include yeast, pickles, live yogurt; also, we should eat 30 different types of plants in a week. (Lisa)


Dr. O’Connor often recommends probiotic treatments like Symprove products to many patients seeking help with gut health.

In fact, Trisha has been taking Symprove for over a year and didn’t realize how different it was until she stopped for a short while.

“The biggest difference I’ve noticed is my digestion. Everything is a little better. If I don’t take it, I’m more bloated and uncomfortable. Also, when I stop taking it, my scalp is more itchy and dry.”

The gut microbiome affects more than just our digestive system, including our skin, the way we sleep, internal inflammation and immune support.

If you’re interested in trying Symprove to support your gut, Meagher’s Pharmacy is offering 20% ​​off Symprove through June 28. click this link Access your discount.


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