Lara – not her real name (Crohn’s and coeliac disease)
I don’t really know where to start or when and where exactly Crohn’s became part of my existence, but the bottom line was, I became really sick. I had had a nasty virus which I didn’t seem to recover from before the next one came along. My personal life was a mess and I had exams looming and here I was sleeping 15-18hrs a day. I had severe brain fog so bad I would lose myself mid-sentence and the pains in my joints was excruciating and debilitating, and they moved around my body to different joints every 3-4 days, sometimes I couldn’t even walk. It took 20 minutes to rouse me every morning. I then undertook a year long battle with my doctors’ surgery (who initially diagnosed me with chronic fatigue) to finally push to see the gastro team and within a fortnight I had my Crohn’s diagnosis.
Devastated doesn’t cut it. I felt there was no point to my life, no point in even trying to achieve anything. Here I was at 18yrs old and I felt I had nothing worth living for (I already had coeliac disease and I’m visually impaired).
The NHS had a waiting list so I couldn’t be seen for a month, so my mother sought help from a Tummy specialist group on Facebook that she belonged to who immediately put her onto Jane. After some serious stool testing Jane was able to formulate a gut healing plan using radical changes in my diet alongside some serious supplementation, and my journey began. (When I saw my gastro consultant, he put me straight onto steroids to bring down the chronic inflammation over the next 3 months). My calprotectin level was 942 which is very high but after the steroids combined with the new diet, I can report my levels is now 98 which for Crohn’s means that it is currently inactive.
I’ve never been a vegetable eater, not overly keen on fruit either and I loved my steak and chips! I had been preparing to go to University before I became too sick to go. Jane was amazingly encouraging in getting me to start making small but significant changes to my diet rather than jumping off the deep end to quickly and with the steroids working in the background this seemed an easier approach. I have to say it’s not been without challenge and at the start I hated it, but over this past year I have adapted my diet by removing anything that upset my system causing me to feel fullness and bloating and the subsequent consequences in bowel movements.
Jane was able to provide the correct supplementation to restore my Vitamin D levels which at 27 were somewhat dangerously low together with stabilising my moods and energy levels which were at the outset bad and non-existent. It has been a long and steady road to recovery, but Jane has been fantastic in mentoring and supporting me throughout.
It is my personal belief that had my Mother not found Jane and together they’ve both worked hard to find me a diet I can manage (which now consists of a rainbow of veg!) and supplements to aid and sustain my body to keep the Crohn’s inactive I would most probably have ended up in hospital or worse as I had been unwittingly in Crohn’s crisis for over a year prior to diagnosis.
I cannot thank Jane enough for her kindness and expertise in dealing with my IBD and I would not hesitate to highly recommend her to anyone who has any bowel type problems. Thank you, Jane you’ve given me my life back!
Lara’s mum Lesley
What can I say! Thank you doesn’t quite cut the mustard but thank you anyway!
Watching my daughter getting sick for over a year and getting nowhere at the doctor’s surgery has been the most terrifying ordeal to date. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue just didn’t make sense to me with her other debilitating symptoms, the scariest one being rectal bleeding. Having paid privately to get her seen by the gastroenterology team was worth every penny and the diagnosis of Crohn’s, whilst a devastating blow and scary as hell, was at least something to work with at long last.
Jane came highly recommended by Linda Booth a Tummy Specialist whose group I belong to on Facebook. I did not hesitate to make the call. I’ve never felt so hopeless and scared and at a total loss how to best manage this condition. Jane became my lifeline. She has been a total Godsend and has given my daughter her life back and mine! I think it’s every parents’ worse nightmare when their children become seriously ill and as a single mother, I had no family support available. Jane’s advice and guidance has been thoroughly instrumental in maintaining and keeping the Crohn’s under control.
I cannot therefore recommend Jane highly enough. Her kindness, support, encouragement and reassurances have totally enabled me to step up and help radically change my daughters’ diet and lifestyle and after a year’s journey to recovery, I can finally say with total conviction that I have my daughter back! She has recovered her energy levels and although she still has to be mindful of getting enough sleep and drinking enough water daily, she has dropped all her inflammatory weight gain, is now eating a very healthy diet, is now able to do exercise, something that she was totally unable to do during her Crohn’s crisis, she has found her social life again, and most importantly with the improvement in mood and with the brain fog banished for good she has been able to start her degree, and build a life for her future, something I had thought she had lost forever.
It’s not been the easiest road with the radical changes I’ve had to implement but on the plus side we, as a family, are now eating a much healthier and improved diet. I cannot express my gratitude in words, but I can recommend Jane’s 6 month programme with the regular supplement changes and advice, constantly checking on progress and just being able to talk with someone who understands it all and being able to talk openly and freely about every aspect of this horrid disease and how it has affected us as a family. The support and positivity Jane offers has allowed us both to come out of a dark time and into a life with a good outlook and way forward.
If you find yourself with IBD please don’t hesitate to contact Jane, she will transform your world.
UPDATE from Lesley 6 months later: Just wanted to let you know we’ve received the latest calprotectin result, it is 8mg/g! Crohn’s entirely inactive! (Jane’s comment: It was 942 when Lara first came to me)
Michelle Harvey (IBS, identify food intolerances & support fertility)
When I first met Jane I felt as though I was intolerant to everything I ate, despite following a healthy diet and exercise regime. I suffered symptoms of bloating, stomach pain and exhaustion, and had almost lost hope of having children naturally after five years with no success.
Jane went over and above in her pursuit to recover my health. We worked on reducing my stress levels, which I didn’t even realise were an issue, and healed my gut with a combination of diet and supplementation.
Our baby girl was born May 2017 with number two already on the way. Thank you Jane!
Thomas Paxton (Tummy aches, dizziness, nausea)
I first contacted Jane about my Son, Thomas who is 10. We had a chat about his symptoms which I thought might be food related. From the outset, Jane was extremely friendly and although we don’t live locally our Skype sessions were great. We have had lots of explanations from Jane with regards to certain foods easing symptoms and what to avoid. The test results we had back were explained in detail. Jane’s handouts at the end of each session are clear and concise and this was really important for us when having to change a 10 year old diet completely!
Within 2-3 weeks of taking on board changes to his diet Thomas was feeling so much better. It was so nice, after nearly three months, to see him smiling in the mornings again. If there was something Thomas didn’t like it was fine, there was no pressure, Jane would simply find an alternative or just say ‘let’s leave that then’. I would highly recommend Jane to any friends or family.
Rachel Paxton (Mum)
I had been feeling poorly and when I first realised that I had to stop eating some foods I wasn’t too happy. Jane explained to me why I needed to do it. Mum helped me find nice foods that were good for me that I liked, with the help of Jane. There were things that Jane said I should try and sometimes I didn’t like them and there were other things I really liked.
I enjoyed the Skype calls and it always made me giggle when Jane talked about poo, which she does a lot! I am feeling so much better now as I don’t feel ill and I am getting more sleep.
Lucy – not her real name (Parasitic infection)
I took my 17 year old daughter to see Jane after she had been unwell for over a year and was finally diagnosed with suspected giardia. After receiving hospital treatment for it, she was left with her stomach lining and digestion damaged by the parasites. She was not offered any real professional advice and support to help her by the doctors and so we went to Jane to see if she could provide the specific nutritional guidance and support to help my daughter recover fully.
Jane is incredibly knowledgeable about clearly a massively wide range of ailments, and was a breath of fresh air as she had experience of treating post parasitic damage and quickly devised a plan to start re-building my daughter’s health through a very specific nutritional plan supported by supplements.
I don’t think any teenager is going to welcome going gluten free with minimal dairy and sugar during their AS levels but Jane sold the importance of doing this to rest my daughter’s stomach, and having been so ill for so long she decided to follow Jane’s advice despite the frustrations it created with such a limited diet. However over the 5 months during and post treatment she gradually got better and was able to gently re-introduce all the restricted foods back into her diet successfully, and can now finally go out and eat pizza with her friends again without her stomach objecting!
Jane is very friendly and approachable and yet could also be quite firm when trying to enrol my daughter’s commitment to the various stages of the plan- she fully explained each step of the plan which was vital as she was treating a teenager who really did not want to have a restricted diet with so much of what she enjoyed eating being excluded from her diet. Jane was highly professional and clearly took a great deal of personal pride in creating the right treatment plan to give my daughter the best chance for a full recovery- and we are just delighted that together we achieved this goal!
Kris Henley (Constipation and bloating)
I feel so lucky to have found Jane – by a chance recommendation from a friend of a friend, I ended up on Jane’s doorstep at my wits’ end, convinced I had tried everything to alleviate months of constipation and bloating. I thought I knew about healthy eating and a good lifestyle, and I couldn’t imagine how Jane was going to add any information that was going to resolve what had become chronic misery. How wrong I was. Within a week, my digestive health had started to turn around, and I had a completely new view of what healthy eating and a good lifestyle meant for me personally.
I had never been to a nutritionist before, and I was so impressed at how Jane’s knowledge went well beyond food into so many aspects of health and well-being. Yet, she also listened carefully to what I had to say – my personal story, views, preferences and opinions – and always worked with me, rather than imposing what she thought I should do. She explained every step in the process, and was very patient and supportive. I was particularly grateful to have her on the other end of email, when questions and worries would suddenly crop up.
Further, Jane was able to recommend other alternative therapies that have really helped with the emotional and psychological aspects of food and what it had come to signify to me. She brought a holistic view to the situation, and joined up what conventional medicine could offer with a more alternative approach.
Now, I feel I have a lifelong plan of management for myself as an individual. I feel much more like I am working with my body now, rather than treating it like a burden or a liability. It’s been a transformative experience!
Leonie Wilson (Microscopic Colitis, widen food tolerance & gain weight)
In 2017, I was advised to seek the help of a top UK nutritionist, Jane Barrett, by a renowned Health Therapist, who runs a well-established Clinic for Digestive Disorders.
From the outset, I was reassured by Jane’s confident, experienced and caring approach with regard to all the digestive problems I had. Together we embarked on an intensive programme to restore my weakened state to full health. This was achieved within 12 months.
I had a condition referred to as Microscopic Colitis, an IBD, which had recently been diagnosed at a hospital following a colonoscopy. Subsequently, Jane structured a detailed nutritional programme, a range of supplements and a variety of strains of probiotics that she knew would support and heal the colon.
Jane also ordered a number of tests to be carried out. The results of these tests showed exactly where other digestive disorders were impinging upon my health- namely dysbiosis in the gut, an overgrowth of Candida Albicans and acid reflux issues.
Over the ensuing months, Jane organised certain antimicrobials, which were crucial to the eradication of the offending fungus, plus essential nutrients and probiotics in order to rebalance my digestive system whilst ensuring the continuing stability of my colon.
It was because of Jane’s invaluable advice, her expertise of the digestive system and her knowledge of nutritional strategies through supporting programmes tailored to my specific needs, that enabled my total recovery.
I am now a healthy 70 year old thanks to Jane!
Toby Clarke (Constipation)
I consulted Jane in desperation as my 5 year old autistic son had been suffering from severe constipation since birth. Toilet training was causing huge amounts of stress and l was getting really worried. All doctors did was prescribe paediatric laxative in massive doses which had no effect.
After seeing Jane ‘the poo lady’ as Toby called her fondly, for the first time he was full of enthusiasm for vegetables and within a day had gone to the loo properly for the first time. This has continued and he has gone from a bowel movement every 5 days to every day with an associated increase in energy.
Jane is very good with children and came up with creative age-appropriate food ideas in a palatable form which were invaluable to me. She looked tirelessly for alternatives when Toby refused to take something.
Since seeing Jane my younger son age 3 has toilet trained himself in competition with his brother! I have lost 2 stone by becoming more knowledgeable about healthy eating. The best money I have ever spent!
Amy Carter (IBS and chronic headaches)
Over the past 6 months Jane has helped me so much and really changed my life. I came to her with digestive symptoms meaning I missed important things, such as college jeopardising my A-Levels. However, with her guidance I have been completely able to get rid of these symptoms and have them explained to me.
Jane gave me several achievable health plans including elimination diets, balancing blood sugar and removing yeasts, which, although could have been daunting from first sight, were easy to work with and always explained thoroughly.
No longer having symptoms means I can now go away for a gap year in Australia with no fear of being ill or missing out on anything, and Jane has given me so much advice for the future and I could not be more grateful.
Annabel Simpson (Gastroparesis & nausea)
Jane has massively helped me over the past year. I began to feel ill when I was 15 in 2017, and only managed to get diagnosed with Gastroparesis and acid reflux months later. Feeling so ill at a young age, was extremely difficult for me to manage. I used to miss countless days of school, and my family and I would not know where or who to turn to next, in order to give me the help I needed to receive.
It was hard for me as I was not able to go out with my friends, never mind leave my bed when an episode became really bad. I was constantly having doctor’s appointments and was suggested a new prescription medicine every time I went, which never helped me. We decided to change routes and found out about Jane from a friend, and I cannot thank her enough for getting me back on track and back to doing the things I used to love to do, before I became ill.
I came to Jane with severe nausea, a lack of energy, and more and Jane has helped these symptoms subside and cause me a lot less struggle. There was a lot of trial and error with at first, and some days were still difficult while starting out the programme, but the patience and willingness to help from Jane, led me to feel better within a couple of months. I was able to follow Jane’s recommended meals and advice which I believe is provided to most clients, but also the personalised advice and supplements in which Jane was able to give to me.
Jane took the time to research further into Gastroparesis, even though, overall, it is a very complicated condition and quite unfamiliar, even in the medical world! I am very thankful for this and the time and effort Jane put into helping me get back my normal life. As my conditions are chronic, I have accepted that I will always need to be more careful than others need to be at my age, but I am 100X better than I was before starting with Jane, and I know I will continue to improve. She has honestly changed my life. Thank you, Jane!
From Annabel’s Mum, Sue
I cannot thank Jane enough for all her help, support and advice over the past year. Jane took the time to thoroughly research Annabel’s condition and constructed a plan for her which helped her significantly.
Annabel is now able to live a more normal life and has regained her confidence, which is very important for a 17 year old! It has been wonderful watching Annabel’s improvement, and I know she would not be in such a good place had she not been working with Jane.
Faith Ibrahim (Nausea & lack of appetite)
I felt really ill and weak when I first met Jane, but she understood the urgency. It’s really hard to be ill and feel like you’re not going to get better, but within 24 hrs of taking the supplements she recommended, I felt for the first time in ages, at ease. She worked with me, to get a diet that was suitable for my needs, and came up with good suggestions, (alternative dairy products) which sometimes were hard, but I grew to like them and adapt to them. We worked together for 6 months, and now I feel able to understand my own dietary needs.
From Faith’s mum Jackie
When I first contacted Jane I was very concerned for my 13 year old daughter’s health. She was hardly eating and becoming very anxious about food. She has always loved food and always been an adventurous eater. So it was very stressful for her not to want to eat. It was making her nauseous.
My daughter is extremely athletic and does many hours of training, including being in a swimming squad, so I just couldn’t let her get any worse. The nausea had been going on for about a month on and off, but it suddenly got much worse. I knew it was a waste of time going to my GP.
We saw Jane and she immediately put her on a gluten and dairy free diet, with some supplements to help her digestive system. She also had the sense that she wanted to gag, so Jane recommended supplements to deal with the inflammation in her throat.
Within a few days, my daughter felt some relief of her symptoms, and she was so relieved that her anxiety started to calm and that also helped. She could see that Jane was going to be able to help and support her through. Jane took on board all my concerns about the physical demands on her body due to training and keeping her diet workable in her busy schedule. We worked as a team for 6 months, and my daughter feels fully recovered, but also knows far more about the foods that she is able to tolerate and not tolerate and in what ratios.
I would recommend Jane to anyone concerned with food intolerances, especially children.
Sue – not her real name (Crohn’s Disease, low energy and low mood)
What a difference 6 months makes!
I contacted Jane as my energy levels were depressing and had got worse in the last few years. My brain recall and memory were both shocking and I was concerned about my Crohn’s flaring up, often monthly.
My digestive system was not happy, I was experiencing bloating, sensation of fullness and pain alongside constipated bowels. I had also suffered thrush.
My mood was awful – very strong emotions and dark thoughts affecting my relationship. I had great difficulty relaxing and my anxiety was ruling my social life.
Fast forward 6 months later and I’m a different person. My digestive symptoms are gone. I realise how my bowel movements correlate positively with water and vegetable intake and this has really helped to keep regular.
My brain recall and memory is much improved. I feel fabulous – really good and positive and so pleased I am getting things done that before I couldn’t manage. My mood as brilliant and this positive effect has rippled into my relationships. Jane has given me so much energy I just can’t stop! My husband is eating better too which is a bonus!
My latest set of tests at my last appointment were all optimal – including infection and inflammatory markers, vitamin D and my yeast and bacterial overgrowth has gone.
I’ve found working with Jane so positive, I’ve learned how to get rid of old-fashioned bad habits and have really appreciated the new ideas and inspiration suggested for an older person. She’s been amazing and I highly recommend investing in her 6-month programme.
Rachel Garrod (Perioral Dermatitis)
In January 2016 I developed perioral dermatitis. This manifests as blisters and sores around the chin and up towards the eyes. As someone who for most of my 27 years has had blemish free skin, I was mortified. I had no confidence to go out, couldn’t wear make up to cover it and most importantly could not begin to imagine how I would be able to walk down the aisle at my wedding in 4 months. My GP gave me antibiotics which did begin to have a positive effect however this was to control the symptom and not look at the cause, especially as dermatitis is not an infection.
I was advised to speak to Jane, a well recommended nutritionist as the issue could be coming from my gut! I found the initial phone call daunting and I was sceptical as I knew I had a relatively healthy diet. Jane was so friendly and knowledgeable, logically explaining how many gut concerns can manifest as a skin issue. I had 4 appointments with Jane over 6 months, starting in March. At this stage my skin was significantly improved however I was still taking 4 antibiotics a day and too terrified to stop in case the blisters returned – wedding countdown = 2 months!
Jane analysed my diet and clearly explained the different elements of my routine/diet that could contribute to not only the dermatitis but also my eczema that has been a long term difficulty for me. Although I did have a good diet, Jane was non-judgemental and really understood what was going to be realistic for me to change. The main change to my diet was the elimination of gluten and dairy. It is fair to say I was apprehensive however Jane gave clear handouts and guidance plus fantastic resources for recipes and ideas.
Within 2 months I was clear of the dermatitis and although I had remained on the antibiotics Jane had advised me on supplements to ensure the levels of bacteria in my gut remained good whilst boosting my gut health and immune system. My skin for the wedding was perfect. My make up looked smooth and flawless – I felt a complete princess! I had so many lovely comments on my skin and make up. I had continued to eat gluten and dairy free, now fitting this into my routine without much difficulty.
Once the wedding was over I decided to come off the antibiotics. Jane continued to be supportive and we now worked together to reintroduce gluten and dairy. Jane gave me the guidance to follow and was always approachable, with useful catch ups by telephone to make sure I was on the right track. Surprisingly I reacted to the gluten – I think I still believed that as I had eaten a mixed diet for 27 years that there was no chance I would have an intolerance – the reintroduction proved me wrong with a clear exacerbation of my eczema.
Although I now know what I can and can’t eat I have kept my “new” diet in place as I feel great. My skin is blemish free, my eczema is more controlled and I now don’t bother wearing make up to work. I have the confidence back to dress up and go out with friends and most off all I felt a million dollars on my wedding day with memories I will treasure for ever.
Lee Miller (Acid reflux, hiatus hernia and energy)
Thanks to Jane I feel better than I can ever remember. I now feel so much happier in myself and am so glad I did this before my wedding this summer. I had 4 appointments over 4 months and to my great relief, the improvements started within days of making changes
Previously, I was so tired I fell asleep on the sofa at 8pm (girlfriend not happy) and had no energy to get through my working day, let along go to the gym. I had a hiatus hernia, daily acid reflux and endoscopies showed inflammation and 80% narrowing in my oesophagus above my pyloric sphincter. I constantly felt full and food would be uncomfortable to swallow and digest. I didn’t want to rely on Lansoprazole or any other medication.
A dietician appointment produced a handout on smoothies that didn’t address the root cause nor change my wider eating habits. I knew I was eating rubbish and finally decided to consult a nutritional therapist specialising in digestive health to really get to the bottom of my issues.
Jane explained that what I was eating was leading to inflammation and that with some simple changes and relevant supplements she could support the inflammation and help to heal my gut. She was great at motivating me, encouraging changes and giving useful recipes and handouts.
Within days, I started to feel better, my energy increased, I was able to tolerate the suggested foods, I learned to embrace whole foods to nourish me rather than relying on quick fixes. The discomfort reduced and at my follow-up appointment 4 weeks later I had reduced reflux symptoms from 20 times per week to twice a week. I no longer need the Lansoprazole and had no energy dips.
At each appointment this continued to improve. I’d wake up and be wide awake rather than feeling my head was stuck to the pillow, which would make me feel like going to the gym, which increased my confidence and became a positive cycle where I got even more energy. My relationship has improved and so I feel so much better about everything in my life.
I now know the good stuff to put in, and what to avoid. I will definitely continue to eat like this, I love my new habits and will never go back to what I what and how I was eating. Thanks so much Jane!
Amanda Knight (Psoriasis)
I came to see Jane with symptoms affecting my skin I had never had before. These debilitating symptoms were getting worse by the week. At this time my confidence was very low, I was feeling very frightened and consequently, I hated going out in public due to people staring at me. Jane made me feel very relaxed and explained everything to me which made me feel reassured. She gave me a nutrition plan to follow to support my autoimmune condition and recommended supplements which I stuck to religiously and I am now symptom-free. I also feel so much better in myself with more energy and positive thinking. And most importantly I feel liberated I can show off my legs with great confidence. I can’t thank Jane enough
Claire (not her real name) (IBS, Bloating, Cramps, Flatulence)
Jane came highly recommended by a friend of mine who had been having quite a lot of problems with her gut. When I had my 1st appointment with Jane I was suffering from excessive bloating, stomach cramps, flatulence and also intolerant to various foods even though I thought I was having a healthy diet.
A stool test revealed that I had an overgrowth of candida and no growth of lactobacillus species that keeps the candida in check. Jane has helped me relieve all these symptoms by following a gut friendly diet and also with supplements during the 6 month gut-healing programme.
There is so much information out there which is so confusing, so it was great to have someone like Jane to be able to find the cause and deal with it. With her inspiring recipes and detailed dietary recommendations, my food shopping (vegetables/fruits/spices & herbs) has changed dramatically and I always remember her saying rainbow of colours and that variety is important.
Thank you Jane for all your help in making me feel better and I can even wear my favourite jeans to go for a meal.
Dan Stassinos (IBS and anxiety)
I am so thankful I found Jane, she has been able to help me understand the importance of nutrition and the role it plays in everyday health. I saw a few people before visiting Jane and none of them have come close to the expert guidance she has provided.
I came to her with many digestive issues and she has helped to get rid of my symptoms enabling me to have a much better way of life.
She has also helped me with my anxiety and stress management and explained the connection with these and digestive disorders. I now have much greater control of my life and don’t worry about going to out eat and whether it will have any effect on me.
My diet and approach to eating has changed significantly, I now eat more vegetables, fish and other essential foods which were previously missing from my diet.
I would certainly recommend Jane to anyone, she is great to deal with, always there to answer to any concerns and provide advice.
Thank you Jane for changing my life.