Gutcast Podcast Series

Amy Kelly and all the speakers from the podcast series Gutcast, the only podcast for IBD in Ireland.

Gutcast, a collaboration between the Irish Society of Colitis and Crohn’s Disease and Janssen Immunology, is the first ever podcast series for people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Ireland. The podcast is hosted by Amy Kelly, ISCC Director, who lives with Crohn’s disease. Gutcast features a range of guests including healthcare experts and people living with IBD providing insights and advice on a range of topics such as fatigue, managing work and social life and mental health.

Our objective is to help people living with IBD become more informed about their condition and to empower them to take control of its management

To learn more about the resources provided, including the helpline and peer to peer support, please visit the ISCC website:

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Season 3

1. Growing Up with Crohn’s and Colitis

Living with IBD during childhood and teenage years has its own distinct challenges and stresses at times and it is a topic often not discussed. In this opening episode of Gutcast 3, we will hear Amy Kelly in conversation with a healthcare professional, with those who have real-life experience of supporting a child living with IBD as well as an adult diagnosed as a child. Topics for discussion include when a family receives a diagnosis, dealing with flares, mental health including parental guilt, dealing with a change in your condition as you age, asking the right questions to your HCP and living well as well as transitioning from paediatric to adult care.

2. Managing Milestones with IBD

People with Crohn’s and colitis can be faced with a much higher degree of stress and sickness when it comes to planning and attending life events. Weddings, parties, even a mid-week meal with friends can become a difficult and often flare inducing scenario. In this episode we will hear real-life experience of the stress and anxiety and how best to manage these moments, managing expectations from yourself and others and the supports that are available to patients from a nutrition and wellbeing perspective.

3. Navigating the System with IBD

The challenges of living with IBD are well known but accessing key information and supports is often not an easy journey. In this episode, we will answer the questions those recently diagnosed and living with IBD want to know. From disability benefits and entitlements to the cost of medicine, it will also detail the key information and support services available to those living with IBD.

NOTE: As of 01 January 2022, the drugs payment scheme threshold has been reduced from €114 to €100 per month.1

Episode 3 coming 28th February

Season 2

1. Family and Friends

Having Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis doesn’t just affect the person living with it, it can hugely impact the lives of their family and loved ones too. In this opening episode of the second season of Gutcast, we focus on the challenges faced by people with IBD and the valuable things family and friends can do to help them. It will also detail the information and support services available. Rachel Drury and her fiancé Des share their emotional story for the first time and how a life changing illness brought them closer together.

2. Surgery & Stoma

People with IBD can be faced with the decision between having stoma surgery or continuing to live with symptoms that can significantly impact their daily quality of life. In this episode, we will hear first-hand experience of a stoma surgery journey, the decision process and the supports that are available to patients. Radio presenter, Michaela Hayes who lives with a stoma shares her journey from surgery to recovery and advice for others.

3. Guided Meditation

Stress doesn’t cause ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease but left unaddressed, it can make symptoms worse. Mindfulness for those living with IBD is about the importance of attention and awareness. It also helps patients to manage symptoms and their treatment journey. This episode is a 15-minute guided session led by Dr Susan Brannick (Senior Clinical Psychologist at St. Vincent's University Hospital) focusing on breathing and relaxation.

4. Lifestyle

In this final episode, we will delve into the many different ways IBD can impact the lives of those living with it, but also the ways in which lifestyle can impact the treatment journey. We will hear our host Amy Kelly in conversation with healthcare professionals as well as those with real-life experience of living with IBD as they discuss important topics like mental health, self-image, pregnancy and diet. As with all episodes, Lifestyle caters for everyone living with and affected by Crohn’s or colitis but especially for someone who has had an experience with pregnancy or is planning a pregnancy.

Season 1

1. What I wish I’d known

Gutcast host, Amy Kelly and Professor Anthony O’Connor, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Tallaght University Hospital address some of the questions and concerns a person newly diagnosed with IBD may have. This episode focuses on key information for people living with IBD and their families.

2. Your mental health

Dr Jennifer Wilson O’Raghallaigh, Principal Clinical Psychologist at Beaumont Hospital and Ted Dinan, Professor of Psychiatry and Principal Investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College Cork join Amy to discuss the impact of mental health for those with IBD.

3. Managing your work and social life

This episode features social media influencer Dearbhla Toal (aka Belle Azzure) and HSE Occupational Therapist Deirdre O’Connor who discuss ways to balance studying or working and a social life with IBD. They also provide tips on how to manage stressful and busy periods in life as well as improving communication with your colleagues.

4. Getting the most out of your appointments

This episode sees Amy in conversation with Dr Aoibhlinn O’Toole, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Beaumont Hospital and Emma Anderson, IBD Nurse Specialist at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. They provide practical tips and advice on how to get the most out of your appointments with your healthcare professionals.

5. Sex and Relationships

Natalya Price, Psychotherapist & Sex Therapist at Mind and Body Works, and Hannah Witton, an English influencer who is living with Crohn’s disease and frequently discusses the impact on her own sex life, will help those with IBD overcome the fears they may have of entering a new relationship or discussing the topic of sex with their partner.

6. Managing fatigue

Professor Anthony O’Connor Consultant Gastroenterologist at Tallaght University Hospital; Emer O’Shea, Senior Physiotherapist at St James Hospital Dublin; and Elaine Neary, Clinical Specialist Dietitian in Gastroenterology at Tallaght University Hospital detail the fatigue that may occur with IBD, the cause of it, and suggested ways to reduce fatigue including nutrition, physical exercise and sleep.

7. Have the guts to speak up - Personal stories of Crohn’s and colitis

This episode will explore the personal stories of three people living with IBD. Comedian Andréa Farrell, who was diagnosed with IBD in 2017 on her 26th birthday, Munster and Irish rugby player John Ryan who lives with ulcerative colitis and former Monaghan Gaelic football player Andrew Kieran who also lives with ulcerative colitis talk about how the diagnosis has impacted their lives and how they have gone on to have a busy and fulfilling life and careers, despite their conditions.