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Community Advocates

In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to manage IBS everyday brings you frequent articles, blogs, points of view and advice from leading patient advocates and professional medical experts.

Current advocates

Larah Brook

Larah Brook is an IBS sufferer, who lives in Australia with her husband and daughters. After experiencing IBS for many years, Larah is now enjoying a symptoms free life most of the time, and can again find pleasure in food and eating out with family and friends. Read more

Lisa Carr

Lisa has written on health and healthcare for 25 years, first as a business journalist and currently as a digital marketing strategist. She holds an M.S.J. in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Case Western Reserve University. Read more

Jo Coates

Jo has lived with IBS on-and-off for 13 years. In a bid to take control and raise awareness around gut health, she started blogging about her journey, the anxiety it brings and how sometimes, it’s a struggle to leave the house. Read more

Kim Dolce

Having taken turns writing for radio and reference books, then cranking out an unbearably serious first novel—Kim Dolce is now exploring the lighter side of life: Coping with IBS and multiple sclerosis. Read more

Emily Downward

Emily is a master certified life coach, health educator, and professional medical writer, who is passionate about empowering people to be their own health advocate and enjoy life with more peace and joy. Read more

Meredith East-Powell

Meredith has lived with IBS and endometriosis for years, finally in 2015 she was diagnosed with SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). After many rounds of treatment with SIBO and trying different types of diets such as low FODMAP and the SIBO biphasic diet, Meredith realized there wasn’t one particular treatment protocol that suited her, so she tailored her diet to her individual needs, which lead to her developing her own recipes. Read more

Melissa Halas-Liang

Melissa is a nationally recognized nutrition educator and speaker, Registered Dietitian and wellness expert. Advocating for balanced nutrition at all ages and a healthy lifestyle, Melissa aims to “practice what she preaches” in her everyday life. Read more

Andrea Hardy

Andrea is a Registered Dietitian and popular Nutrition Blogger from Calgary, Alberta. Her private practice Ignite Nutrition Inc. provides focused online nutrition counseling for functional gut disorders, including IBS, as well as celiac, IBD, fatty liver disease, and unusual allergies and food intolerances. Read more

Todd Holland

Todd is a mental health and addictions counselor who hails from Southeastern Pennsylvania. He was recently diagnosed with IBS and intends to apply all that he has learned through years in Recovery to his newest mountain to climb. Read more

Karina Ioffe

Karina is a freelance writer, translator, and blogger. She was diagnosed with IBS shortly after finishing University, and it changed her outlook on life. In the first years of her career, she struggled to find a balance between accepting her condition and leading a normal life. Read more

Laura Kiesel

Laura Kiesel is a Boston area freelance writer who has authored articles on health for many publications, including Healthline, Vice, Self, Headspace, the Guardian and Harvard Health blog. She was diagnosed with IBS at age 20, and has several other diagnoses, including interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Read more

Lisa Pearl McIntosh

As a life-long member of the IBS crew, Lisa was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia at the age of 17 and has struggled with the combination ever since. Interestingly enough, the universe decided that her life needed a little bit more color and in recent years Lisa was diagnosed with general anxiety and borderline personality disorder. Read more

Neilanjan ‘Neil’ Nandi

Multiple life encounters gave shape to Dr. Nandi’s interests where he has dedicated his career to the management, research and education of those afflicted with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Read more

Hannah Noonan

After completing a degree in business, Hannah worked for many years in the corporate and non-profit world before realizing in her 30’s that her health and ongoing digestive issues were deteriorating. After working with different practitioners and trying different natural health methods, Hannah’s health improved, but after being unable to fully resolve her digestive issues, she was diagnosed with IBS. Read more

Becky Oleson

Becky is a health and wellness writer and editor who was diagnosed with IBS at age 19, following a giardia infection. This fueled her desire to learn more about both the brain-gut connection and health and wellness issues in general. Read more

Hessiel Polanco

Hessiel (or Hess P) is a writer and a patient advocate who was born and raised in Massachusetts and lives with his wife, Ashli. Dealing with GI issues dating back to 2009, Hess sought help from countless doctors and GI specialists to figure out what was wrong until he was eventually diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome in 2014. Read more

TK Sellman

TK Sellman, RPSGT CCSH is a career journalist (Columbia Chicago, ’90). She was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia in 2010, which inspired her to go back to school to become a sleep technologist in 2012 and a professional sleep educator in 2014. Her IH diagnosis was later abandoned when her neurologist in Seattle confirmed RRMS was to blame for her continual fatigue, as well as other symptoms of relapse (tremor, migraine, and tinnitus). Read more

Sarah Taylor

Sarah has lived with IBS-D since the age of 19. After trying out many different dietary methods to control her symptoms, she found some relief with the FODMAP diet. Read more

Marisa Lauren Troy

Marisa was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, when she was 13 years old. After keeping her disease a secret from everyone but her immediate family for 12 years, she finally felt comfortable sharing who she really was with the world. Read more

Caitlin Wheat

Caitlin is a qualified Naturopath with a passion for helping people who are suffering from IBS reduce symptoms, find the cause and reduce their pain so they spend less time in the bathroom and more time living their life to the fullest. Read more

Tori Whitney

Diagnosed as a school-aged child, Tori has been inspired by her experience living with IBS and working in the healthcare setting as nurse to become a IBS patient advocate. Her goal is to help those who are discouraged with their IBS, and to bring more awareness of this disorder. Read more

Former advocates

Joanna Baker

Joanna Baker is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and a Registered Nurse with over 20 years’ experience in healthcare. Read more

Glenda Bishop

Glenda is a Registered Nutritionist, neuroscientist, wellness coach and educator who helps people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to live a less irritable life. Read more

DJ Camhi

D.J. graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2017 with a major in Communications and minors in Advertising and Animal Science. Read more

Stephanie Huston

Stephanie worked at Health Union – the parent company of – as a Director of Community Development where she managed the and communities. But in her personal life, she has been managing IBS since adolescence. Read more

Ally Marie

Ally was diagnosed with IBS in 2011 at the age of 22. IBS changed her life, therefore she wanted to bring awareness to the condition and become a patient advocate for all women dealing with this debilitating syndrome. Read more

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