Awareness days and months are commonlace but rarely has there been a more synergistic collision than of Stress Awareness and IBS Awareness. “In my experience, stress is the most common cause of IBS symptoms” says integrative coach and stress-resilience specialist Tricia Woolfrey. “With stress alone estimated to cost, £1023 million in days lost, this is a problem that cannot be ignored, particularly when you consider the hidden costs such as low-productivity, costly errors and impacting the rest of the team as well as customer service levels” she continues.

Tricia explains “When you are stressed, the adrenal glands become overactive and put the body into fight or flight mode which significantly impacts the ability for the digestive system to function calmly. People will get any number of symptoms from diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion and more. The body prioritises the need to escape or fight and so deprioritises digestion, playing havoc with the sufferer ” Tricia continues. “Sometimes IBS is caused by poor gastro-intestinal health or food intolerances and I certainly look at those too – it’s usually a blend of factors. Learning how to become stress-resilient and finding working on gastro-intestinal health are absolutely key” says Tricia.

Tricia has developed numerous packages, from consultancy to assessments, from training to retreats, in order to help individuals and organisations overcome stress and become healthier. “When your employees are healthy your business is much better placed to be healthy too” she says.

“Denial is the first enemy of stress-resilience and can lead to burn out. This leads to ever-escalating costs, both explicit and hidden, not to mention the risk of legal action” Tricia explains.

With April being Stress Awareness Month and IBS Awareness Month, now is the time to understand your stress right now. Try this survey

Tricia Woolfrey provides consultancy, workshops, coaching and retreats on stress and wellness, including IBS. For more information, visit


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PW Consulting Limited are specialists in performance, productivity, stress-resilience and wellness. Based on the premise that profitability is only sustainable through a high-performing, highly engaged workforce, their approach is integrative, strategic and practical. Founded by Tricia Woolfrey in 1998 they provide consultancy, training, assessments, coaching and mentoring. Speaking opportunities are also undertaken.

Tricia Woolfrey is the developer of the A-HEAD for Success 5 Dimensional Coaching model which provides clarity, skillset, mindset, stress-resilience and energy. She runs retreats and workshops.