Popular science writing

IBD and the Gut-Brain Connection: A patient and carer’s guide to taming Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Published by Hammersmith Books


Print ISBN: 978-1-78161-140-1

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-78161-141-8

Dimensions of print: 216 x 138 mm


Price print: £14.99 Ebook: £5.99

Pub date: 27 September 2018

Order now from Amazon or Book Depository

You can now read Chapter 1 for free here!

Known evil is better than unfamiliar evil. I have notice that the more I understand about IBD, the easier it becomes to manage and live with it.’


‘Another excellent book on IBD by Dr M-W, this time for patients by a patient with specialist knowledge. The topics articulate the questions raised by every patient and are answered in a lucid manner, summarising the evidence in a way that is easy to understand. Strongly recommended.’

Professor Simon Travis, Professor of Clinical Gastroenterology, University of Oxford, UK, Former President of the European Crohn’s & Colitis Organisation (ECCO)

‘This book is a must read for any IBD patient seeking guidance in how to be resilient in the face of an inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis!  Dr Mikocka-Walus, a health psychologist, behavioral scientist and IBD patient herself, conveys the best scientific evidence available on the holistic care of IBD in a very accessible and engaging way.  I will be recommending this to all of my patients and families in the USA.’

Assoc Professor Laurie Keefer, Director of Psychobehavioral Research, Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC, USA

‘Dr. Mikocka-Walus has provided a comprehensive and reader friendly IBD resource, translating complex information and clinical research about the disease into every day language.  Her matter of fact discussion about all aspects of living with IBD, from stools to stress to sexuality, is not only informative, uniquely blending science and personal journey, but will be reassuring for those with IBD and their families.’

Professor Lesley Graff , Head, Department of Clinical Health Psychology, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, CANADA

‘Dr Mikocka-Walus delivers a cogent review of inflammatory bowel disease from a unique perspective: that of a health professional who suffers from the disease. IBD and the brain-gut connection provides an insightful summary of life with IBD, with a particular focus on the impact of mood on disease outcomes, and how this can be managed. The text is a valuable additional information source to patients with IBD, and is highly recommended. ‘

Dr David Gracie, Gastroenterology specialist trainee, Bradford Royal Infirmary, UK


About the book

As a health scientist and ‘expert patient’ who has spent more than 20 years researching IBD and whose work has changed the way IBD is managed in clinics worldwide, Dr Mikocka-Walus is ideally placed to bring all the latest research findings and clinical experience together in a truly up-to-date, evidence-based guide for people with an IBD diagnosis and their families, friends and carers. As well as general considerations including what science tells us the condition is and how it is currently treated, she addresses issues in relation to age (there is an epidemic now among children and teenagers) and circumstances (sexuality and fertility). Most importantly she looks at the gut-brain connection and with it, mental health in IBD, the two-way relationship with stress, and the pros and cons of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and antidepressants.


Part I – Understanding IBD: What is IBD? What causes IBD? Part II: Living with IBD: The psychological impact of IBD; IBD in children and adolescents; Sexuality, fertility and pregnancy in IBD; IBD in the over 60s; Part III: Treating IBD: Healthcare models for IBD; Diagnosing IBD; Drug treatments for IBD, Surgery and IBD; The role of diet and exercise; Psychological treatments for IBD; Complementary and alternative therapies for IBD. Self-help resources. References.

Other popular science writing

‘The brain and the gut talk to each other: how fixing one could help the other’ is included in The Conversation (07/2017)

Science writing

‘Psychogastroenterology with Adults: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals’, a book co-edited by Dr Simon Knowles, Prof. Laurie Keefer and myself, will be published by Routledge, London, UK in 2018!

‘Psychological Aspects of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A biopsychosocial approach’ (2014), a book co-edited by Dr Simon Knowles and myself, was published by Routledge, London, UK

You can read my research papers via Research Gate as well as via my university sites at Deakin University, University of Adelaide, and University of South Australia

My therapeutic website, offering self-directed cognitive-behavioural therapy for people living with inflammatory bowel disease can be found at

Creative writing

‘A visitor’s tax’ is included in 2019 Boroondara Writers Anthology, Small Pleasures, Melbourne, Australia

‘Et’ is included in A Patchwork of Stories (2018), an anthology by Birdcatcher Books, Churchill, VIC, Australia

‘Serendipity’ is included in Heroines Anthology launched at Heroines Festival 2018 in Woolongong, Australia

‘Means of production’ and ‘Facts and factions’ are included in Veronica Literary Magazine in one of the 2018 issues, Brisbane, Australia

‘Secrets’ is included in Mosaic Anthology (2018) and The Birdcatcher Magazine (3/2017) published by Birdcatcher Books: Churchill, VIC, Australia

‘In-so-ever-between’ and ‘A curious case of chronic dying’ are included in the York Writers 2017 Anthology – Behind Closed Doors, York, UK

‘Facts and factions’ (01/2017), ‘Playing the fool’ (04/2016), and ‘The secret party’ (03/2016) are included on The Cannon of the Hour of Writes writers’ portal, Manchester, UK (under the pseudonym Freya)

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