Steph McGovern’s fear filming BBC Breakfast due to undiagnosed illness

Steph McGovern’s fear filming BBC Breakfast due to undiagnosed illness

September 16, 2022

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Steph’s Packed Lunch presenter Steph McGovern, 40, has given an insight into her “terrible” struggles with IBS and how it once had a huge impact on her life and work in an exclusive interview with The former BBC Breakfast star also spoke about how she has since made a new breakthrough with her health thanks to expert Dr. Julia Jones.

Steph has been very open about her struggles with IBS in the past, regularly posting about the subject on her Instagram feed.

The star worked on BBC Breakfast as its main business presenter from 2010 to 2019 and, while she suffered badly from its symptoms, she hadn’t yet been diagnosed with IBS.

“It was horrendous!” Steph remembered, but I do what people tend to do which is to just go, ‘Oh, I’ve just got one of those tummy things, I’ve just got dodgy bowels”.

“When I was doing Breakfast Telly, I wouldn’t eat until I’d finished broadcasting because, even if I was starving, I’d be so worried about having to run to the loo,” she admitted.

“And I would have to work out where the toilets were because I was obviously on location a lot.

“So I’d be in a field or a farm or whatever, and then as soon as I finished I’d have a bacon sandwich, which is the worst thing you can have.”

According to the NHS website, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system.

It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation – and it’s usually a lifelong problem. 

Steph then went on to recall her frustration at finding that even when she tried to be kind to her body, it still wouldn’t play ball.

“Instead I might try to be healthy and have a smoothie,” she remembered. “But then I’d just find that would be worse.

“I’d be in pain, diarrhoea – horrendous. And so I just thought, fruit? I can’t do fruit.

“And that’s stupid – it was just because I didn’t have the gut diversity,” Steph said, referring to Julia’s health stratergy that emphasises the need for introducing variety into your diet.

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Steph met Julia when she came to be interviewed on Steph’s Packed Lunch about her book Neuron: Smart Wellness Made Easy.

Speaking about the first time she met Julia, Steph said: “Up to that point I’d been struggling with IBS forever.

“And at that point I’d just accepted that I’ve got it and I can’t do anything about it.”

However, since adopting Julia’s “smart wellness” plan, the presenter claims her life has completely changed.

In fact, their partnership was so transformative for Steph, that the star has now invested in Julia’s start-up company Neuron, which has opened a new wellness centre in Folkestone, Kent.

“Julia’s programme has totally transformed my life,” Steph gushed. “I know that sounds really dramatic, but my IBS is really debilitating.

“Now my IBS is in total control and I very rarely now have any problems.”

Julia and Steph are now on a mission to encourage individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles, using techniques such as intermittent fasting, introducing variety into your diet, improving sleep patterns, cold water exposure and breathing practices.

The Neuron smart wellness hub and live bacteria bar is located in the Creative Quarter at 23-25 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1JU.

For more info about Neuron’s smart wellness courses and products including gut health tests please visit

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