weight loss braintree

Case Study: Fatigue and Bloating

Tracey, age 36, Mum of one and living with partner.

Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.


Health concern(s):

Feeling tired all of the time and suffering with frequent constipation and bloating.


Reason for Contacting Louise Digby Nutrition

Had previously tried seeing her GP but wasn’t happy with the prescription of laxatives. GP ordered blood tests and all seemed normal so Tracey was given no further support.

She’d also tried reiki for her fatigue but has noticed little benefit.



  1. To get through the day without needing a nap or feeling like she was going to fall asleep in front of her computer
  2. To have a comfortable bowel movement daily and to be able to keep her trousers buttoned up all day (she got bloated as the day went on causing her trousers to become tight).


Initial Assessment:

Tracey’s diet was pretty good and only a few minor tweaks were needed. I suspected that Tracey had some underlying imbalances and/ or deficiencies that were not being corrected through good diet alone. Despite blood tests coming back normal, I arranged for Tracey to have a more in-depth assessment of her thyroid.


Initial Recommendations:

I got Tracey started on my gut healing protocol, the focus of which is to improve all areas of digestion; the breakdown of food, absorption of nutrients, calming of inflammation, and balancing of gut bacteria. The protocol also includes supplements targeted at these same areas.


Further Recommendations:

I saw Tracey 4 weeks after our first consultation to discuss her progress and the tests results. Tracey said she was pleased that she was now having 1-2 bowel movements daily, which were well formed and it was easy for her to go. She was still experiencing her bloating however, which lead me to suspect that there may be a food intolerance.

Tracey’s results showed that she had substantial thyroid dysfunction. Her free T4 was towards the low end of normal, a result that a GP would pass as okay. However, this level was low enough to cause symptoms of low thyroid. Tracey’s thyroid auto-antibodies were significantly elevated. This meant that her immune system was attacking her thyroid, causing it to slowly deteriorate. Finally, Tracey had an iodine deficiency, which was possibly causing the low T4.

Elevated thyroid auto-antibodies are usually caused by an underlying infection or gluten sensitivity. As Tracey was also suffering with bloating, we agreed that trialing a gluten free diet would be the best place to start.

She also began supplementing a controlled dose of iodine as well as selenium as this can be useful in decreasing auto-antibodies and is generally useful for thyroid health.



I saw Tracey again after she had been following her gluten free diet and new supplements for three months. During this time she had still been following the gut healing protocol and supplements.

Tracey reported that she no longer suffered with bloating, and in fact this had disappeared just 4 days after going completely gluten free. Her energy was much better and she was no longer having slumps mid-morning and mid-afternoon.


Tracey’s comments:

“I’ve felt positive since the first consultation with Louise. Her recommendations felt so relevant to me and when she explained the connection between the thyroid, gut health and energy levels it felt like a real light bulb moment. She had tons of resources, like menu planners and fact sheets, that were really useful. An added bonus is that I’ve gone down a dress size and am now really happy with my new size 12 wardrobe! I actually feel human now and have already sent a couple of friends to go and see Louise.”