Your Health

In association with Sligo Today

How Do I Know if My Child Has IBS?

Added: 18/10/16 : 07:07:13

Almost every child will have abdominal pain at one time or another. Abdominal pain is pain in the stomach or belly area. It can be anywhere between the chest and groin.  Most of the time, it is not caused by a serious medical problem but coeliac disease and Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) need to be considered when it persists.

When abdominal pain recurs, and coeliac disease and IBD have been excluded, paediatricians call it Non Organic Recurrent Abdominal Pain of Childhood which has several variants including paediatric irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS).

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders in adults and is increasingly recognised in children. IBS in children can be harder to diagnose and to treat.  Dr Michael Mahony spells out the signs and symptoms of IBS in children.

“Any child reporting any of the symptoms below for at least six months should be assessed for IBS. The ABC’s of IBS are:

Abdominal pain and discomfort
Change in bowel habits, either constipation or diarrhoea or both

“Abdominal pain is one of the main symptoms of IBS; usually the pain is around the belly button, but sometimes all over the abdominal area. It can be a result of your child being bloated or their gut contracting more frequently than usual.

Bloating is usually worse after a meal and in the evening . Your child may also experience alternate bouts of diarrhoea or constipation or mucus in the stools.  They may need to visit the bathroom urgently while eating or shortly afterwards.”

“Some children can get extreme constipation and diarrhoea intermittently.  Changes in bowel habits can include more than three motions per day or less than three motions per week, changes in the appearance of stools and urgency to use the toilet or a feeling of fullness even after using the toilet.”

Other symptoms of IBS include abdominal noise (borborygmi) or excessive wind.

Dr Michael Mahony Tips on IBS in Children:

1.      Life events at home or at school or interactions with other children can contribute and parents can identify various stressors in a child`s life.

2.      Watching what children are eating can help relieve symptoms. Junk food, takeaways and convenience meals can all contribute to IBS symptoms. Introducing fresh fruit, vegetables and adequate water or fluid intake will help regulate their digestive cycle.

3.      Biological factors such as altered bowel flora can also be important and if symptoms persist, I would recommend a good probiotic such as  Children’s Alflorex®. Similar to the Adult Alflorex supplement, Children’s Alflorex contain the unique and patented 35624™ culture in a clever and convenient pre-loaded straw, providing an easy way for parents to get their child to take a daily supplement.

For further details see

Events in Sligo for World Mental Health Week

Added: 05/10/16 : 06:59:22

Monday 10th October 2016 is designated World Mental Health Day. HSE Sligo/Leitrim  and a number of agencies, community and voluntary organisations will be hosting a range of interesting, informative and fun events in Sligo over the course of Mental Health Week  (10th to 17th October 2016)

The five ways to wellbeing, which will underpin mental health week, are simple, accessible and achievable for everyone
1. Connect: Feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need.  This week, try to do something different and make a connecting. This could include phoning or meeting someone you care about for a proper catch up or asking how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you.
2. Be Active: Activities such as walking, can have the added benefit of encouraging social interactions as well as provided some level of exercise. Find an exercise you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility
3. Take notice: Taking notice of the world around you can directly enhance your wellbeing.  Go for a walk and make a conscious effort to notice the landscape on your route or have a ‘clear the clutter’ day.
4. Keep learning: Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Signing up for a night class or pursuing a new interest or hobby is a great way to boost your wellbeing.
5. Give: Participation in social and community life is strongly linked with improved wellbeing. Why not explore volunteering opportunities in Leitrim on and register your interest.

A series of talks, events, workshops and fun activities, outlined below, will be held from the first week in October and will continue throughout the autumn to promote positive mental health in Sligo. Be sure to get involved and take part in these events

Public Talks

The Power of Connecting with Self and Others on Wednesday, 12th October at 7pm in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon. John Graham, Transformational coach will speak about how people are now waking up to the fact that communication and connection on a personal level is required now more than ever. In all aspects of our lives, having an understanding of self and others is key. This talk will explore how to improve the relationship we have with ourselves, how to connect on a deeper level with those around us and much more.

Self Esteem and Young People on Thursday, 13th October at 7pm in the Riverside Hotel, Sligo. Mark O’Callaghan, is the head of HSE Psychology for Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan and he will talk about the importance of having good self-esteem is vital to our overall happiness and ability to live an enjoyable and fulfilling life. The evidence tells us that children who have good self-esteem are emotionally healthy and psychologically resilient are less likely to experience emotional difficulties and are more likely to overcome these difficulties if they occur. This presentation will explore the concepts of recognising self-esteem in one’s self and young people, factors which impact on a young person’s self-esteem and how we can foster self-esteem in teenagers


The Taking Control’ Workshop’ is about practical ways to face life challenges, maintaining and taking control of your physical and mental wellbeing. This workshop is taking place in Sligo Town on 14th of October and in Enniscrone on 17th of October. Time: 10am – 4.30pm. Spaces are limited and booking is essential.

Active Citizenship Course is taking place in Sligo Family Resource Centre. Supporting your community, volunteering, lobbying, local political systems, teamwork, and communication.
This is a six week active citizenship course which is running on Thursday’s from 10am – 12pm which begins 13th of October. Contact Cathy on
Knitting Course is beginning in Sligo Family Resource Centre.  This caters for beginners to advanced knitting and simple patterns. This is a six week knitting course which is running on Tuesday’s from 10am – 12pm. Contact Cathy on
Basic Health Course is beginning in Sligo Family Resource Centre. This is a basic first aid, managing stress, identifying common health problems, diet exercise. This is a six week health course which starts on Monday October 3rd from 10am – 12pm. Contact Cathy on
Social Soccer is lunch time soccer match which is taking place every Tuesday from 12pm – 2pm at the Knocknarea Arena, IT. This is open to all men and cost €5.
Youth Music Event. The CRIB is hosting a Youth Music Event for young people aged 14-18 from 8pm – 10pm on Friday, 15th October. This promises to be a fun event which has spot prizes, pizza and great bands on the evening. The ‘My Mind, My Happy’ photography competition will also be launched at the event. All are welcome and this is a drug and alcohol free event. Telephone: 0860497089
Outdoor Gym Workshop will be led by a qualified instructor and is guaranteed to be great fun. You are invited to meet at Cleveragh Sports Complex car park at 11am on Tuesday, 11th October at 2pm. Email: or call (071) 9161512. Cost: €5
Tubbercurry FRC Walk & Talk Groups. Everyone is very welcome to come along and enjoy the following walks which are taking place throughout the week in Tubbercurry:
Tuesday, 11th October, Tubbercurry FRC. Meet at the Tubbercurry FRC @ 11.50am. The walk takes place from 12pm – 1pm and is followed by tea/coffee.
Wednesday, 12th October, Curry. Meet at Howley’s Car Park, Curry @ 10.20am
Join the weekly walking group for a walk and chat through the scenic areas in the locality.
Friday, 14th October, Rathscanlon. Meet at Aurivo, Rathscanlon @10.15am. Join us for an outing on our local Forest Walk. All fitness levels welcome.

Please note that for all events, except the public talks and walk, you must register in advance. For more information on the these events and on how to register, please visit  or contact Thomas Mc Bride, HSE at on 071-9635908