IBDrelief is an all new information sharing platform that aims to help educate, support and guide those affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there is still a lot of confusing and conflicting advice available online about IBD

IBDrelief, was founded by ulcerative colitis sufferer Seb Tucknott and his wife Emily Bridges in 2015.

It is their aim to bring together the knowledge and experience of sufferers and field experts to create a single resource for those affected by IBD in the hope to improve people’s lives by helping them to manage conditions without just relying on medication or opting for surgery.

IBDrelief is a social enterprise – a company that looks to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances or the environment. As well as looking to improve the lives of people affected by IBD it will also be investing any profits into improving IBDrelief, giving donations to IBD charities and supporting IBD research.

Please watch this video to find out more:

IBDrelief Mission

  • Provide vital support and information to sufferers, their families and also to the medical industry
  • Support research into IBD
  • Save the NHS money by helping IBD fighters improve their symptoms
  • Raise funds for Crohn’s and Colitis UK
  • Connect those affected by IBD
  • Provide employment opportunities for sufferers

You can help support this pioneering cause by Pledging a donation to:

IBDrelief Crowdfunder

If you would like to speak to us  regarding anything else you can contact The Functional Gut Clinic directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1st Colonic Hydrotherapy International Congress (C.H.I.C)


1st Colonic Hydrotherapy International Congress (C.H.I.C)

Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd August 2015

Hilton Birmingham Metrpole Hotel


Dr Chris Shorrock – Gastroenterologist. Divisional Director of Medicine, Blackpool.

Hon. Senior Lecturer of Medicine University of Salford.

Talking ‘Gut Stories’

Simon Gilbert – Motivational Speaker and  Author of ‘How Big Is Your But’

Talking ‘Busting Self Limiting Beliefs’

Prof. Dr. Nick Read MA, MD, FRCP – Chair of IBS Network. Gastroenterologist & Psychotherapist, Helping people cope with illnesses, like IBS, that have no clear cause or pathology. Has held university chairs in Gastrointestinal Physiology, Human Nutrition and Integrated Medicine, Author of ‘Sick and Tired; healing the illnesses, doctors cannot cure’

Talking ‘What’s Bugging You – Bacteria & Its Role In The Sensitive Gut’

Elaine Wilson – Acupuncturist (MSc). Colon Hydrotherapist. Nutritional Therapist (MSc)

Former Course Director of Northern College of Acupuncture. Author of ‘the 6 diet’.

Talking ‘Diabetes & Relationship Between Diabetes & Inflammation And How Type 1 & Type 2 Relate To Each Other’

Peter Jackson-Maine – Guild of Naturopathic Iridologists. Master Herbalist. Lecturer & Author

Talking ‘Herbs & Iridology For Inflammation’

Sheila Granger – Pioneering Work On Virtual Gastric Band.  Author & International Speaker.

Talking ‘Virtual Gastric Band’

Barry Tanner – Project Director GRCCT. Broadcaster & lecturer. Campaigner on Rights Of Complementary Medicine. Former NHS Project Manager, Teacher, Examiner, University External Verifier, Professions Rep, Parliamentarian, Participant  Of Prince’s Foundation Federal Regulatory Group.

Talking ‘From his years of experience as Over 30 years as a complementary therapist and over 25 years experience in regulatory processes as diverse as the London Stock Exchange, the employment sector, and education, as well as orthodox and complementary medicine.’

For more information or to secure your place, please visit: >Colonic Association Website

If you would like to speak to us  regarding anything else you can contact The Functional Gut Clinic directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Philippa Bassett from UKAS speaks to us about the importance of IQIPS


The Functional Gut Clinic is proud to not only be the first, but the only gastro-intestinal organisation to achieve IQIPS (Improving Quality In Physiological Services) accreditation within the UK.

But why is this so important? We talk to Philippa Bassett; Marketing Specialist at UKAS who tells us more…

The process of self assessment, improvement and accreditation offers the benefits of sharing best practice and the opportunity to enhance efficiency, and provide evidence for local leverage and brings national recognition to the service with a badge of quality.

The IQIPS programme is professionally led with the aim of improving service quality, care and safety for patients undergoing physiological diagnostics and treatment. The process of self assessment, improvement and accreditation offers the benefits of sharing best practice and the opportunity to enhance efficiency, and provide evidence for local leverage and brings national recognition to the service with a badge of quality.

The Programme covers nine disciplines and is being rolled out in a phased manner.

IQIPS involves self-assessment and external peer assessment against a set of 26 standards to assess accurately the level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve. The standards are organised into four domains:

  • Patient experience
  • Safety
  • Facilities, resource & workforce
  • Clinical

You can contact The Functional Gut Clinic directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Expansion of Lower GI Services (Including Nurse-led Bowel Retraining/Biofeedback)

Basic RGB

Evacuatory dysfunction and faecal incontinence are amongst the most debilitating of GI conditions. Their cause can be multifactorial and, after empirical treatment, detailed investigation is often indicated. Here at The Functional Gut Clinic, we are fortunate that we have Dr Mark Scott, an internationally renowned expert in lower GI Physiology, to lead our service.

We are able to run a fully integrated lower GI Physiology service utilising tests of neuromuscular function such as solid state, high-resolution anorectal manometry (HRAM) with rectal sensory testing and pudendal nerve assessment, along with a full panel of radiology techniques including evacuation proctography, endo-anal ultrasound and colonic transit studies (radio-opaque markers).

Screen New A

The image on screen shows a transient anal sphincter relaxation, following coughing in a patient with faecal incontinence.

In addition, for more complex patients that may have overlapping upper and lower GI symptoms, we are able to offer the wireless motility capsule (SmartPill) test to assess whole and regional GI transit, motility and pH profiles. We have also found that using combined hydrogen and methane breath testing, we are beginning to understand the important role that methanogenic bacteria in the gut play in slowing transit and contributing to symptoms of bloating and constipation, and identifying those patients with colonic dysbiosis to whom simple treatment strategies can be offered.

One of the front-line treatments for both evacuatory dysfunction and faecal incontinence is nurse led conservative therapy (bowel-retraining, often involving biofeedback), and we are delighted to announce that from May 19th, we will be able to offer a full nurse-led conservative therapy service at 22 Upper Wimpole Street led by Anne Curry, a very experienced specialist colorectal nurse with an extremely busy NHS practice at Barts and The London NHS Trust. Access to good nurse-led services in the private sector has been limited, but we have agreements in place with most of the major insurance companies who recognise this as an important and effective treatment for many patients with debilitating lower gut symptoms.

Ant and Sam Web

Finally, in addition to our Central London Service, we are now able to see patients outside of London at our Spire Tunbridge Wells clinic, where we can see both private and NHS patients through the choose and book system.

For more details about our services and how to refer please contact us at admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

or call on 0207 486 7777

Kind regards,

Dr Anthony R. Hobson PhD – Consultant Clinical Scientist 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peterborough and Stamford Hospital: Article on Advanced GI Physiology Service

Service Development: Advanced GI Physiology

Our innovative Advanced GI Physiology pilot service has been extended for three years.

Michelle Gavin, Endoscopy Specialist Nurse, said: “We recognised we had patients who needed more analysis on the function of their gastrointestinal system. However, we were unable to provide this and patients had to go on a waiting list for this service at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The service is rare and specialised, and we didn’t have the specialist equipment or staff,  but endoscopy colleagues were aware of Dr Hobson’s Functional Gut Clinic in London and his services at other NHS centres, so we established a pilot clinic to provide services locally.

C Ant Web

Dr Anthony Hobson, in the endoscopy unit, reading a High Resolution Manometry result.

We’ve been able to provide GI Physiology two days a month in our endoscopy clinic, provided by Dr Anthony Hobson, who is a Consultant Clinical Scientist and provides all of the equipment and specialist skills.

The service provides a wide range of tests including High-Resolution Oesophageal Manometry and Impedance (HRiM), an advanced swallowing assessment which measures muscle function and swallow clearance in the oesophagus as well as sphincter function for patients with acid reflux or dysphagia (swallowing problems). 24 hour pH / Impedance studies which monitors acid and non-acid reflux over a 24-hour period; and expanding hydrogen / Methane breath testing to look for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and intolerances to sugars such as lactose and fructose which can cause severe bloating.

The service means around 20-30 patients a month can be seen locally, without having any delays, as the number of clinics is increased around demand, meaning we don’t have a waiting list of patients.

“It’s excellent news for patients and the team that we are providing this service for another three years.”

There has been a leap in technology which is not widely available in most NHS centres and a lack of qualified staff which can cause these services to be limited,” said Dr Hobson. “I trained in the NHS in Manchester and my practice at The Functional Gut Clinic provides clinics in London and Kent. This is predominantly for private patients and I was excited when approached by Michelle to provide NHS services in the new City Hospital.

I am able to provide the ‘mobile’ clinic which means the Trust doesn’t have to invest in the expensive equipment or the qualified staff. I enjoy working with the endoscopy team, and the nurses are able to observe and be trained in the new procedures. I very much look forward to continuing to provide the services in Peterborough.”

The Functional Gut Clinic is the first GI Physiology service in the UK to reach the IQIPS accreditation standard (Improving Quality in Physiological Services) – similar to the JAG accreditation for endoscopy – and Peterborough will be applying to come under this accreditation  ‘umbrella’ in July, which will be the first NHS centre to reach this standard!

You can contact The Functional Gut Clinic directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video interview with: Dr. Peter Paine (Consultant Gastroenterologist)

Dr Peter Paine, North-West based Gastroenterologist, speaks to us about his concerns regarding the misdiagnosis of IBS and the role it plays in worsening conditions, Tertiary Care and the benefits of moving IBS into a Primary care setting with trained health care professionals.

Short, sharp and to the point.

Please let us know your own thoughts below and if you would like any additional information feel free to contact us directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2015 – time for change? Please sign The IBS Network’s petition…

1-IBSLogo- A

Have you ever been told by your doctor, ‘don’t worry, it’s just IBS!’  How did that make you feel?  Have you ever said it to somebody else?

It is estimated that The NHS spends up to £200 million per annum on IBS, yet diagnostic tests are usually negative and treatment often ineffective. This money could be used more effectively…

The IBS Network strongly believes there is nothing ‘just’ about IBS!  It is for that reason that they are campaigning for more awareness and improved services for this debilitating and all too often disregarded illness.

Together we can call on all major political parties to commit to improving the life of the million plus people with irritable bowel syndrome. Show your support by signing the change petition today!

To sign the petition please: CLICK HERE: It’s Not ‘just’ Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

To find out more about The IBS Network you can visit their website: www.theibsnetwork.org

Please let us know your own thoughts below and if you would like any additional information feel free to contact us directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr Nick Read video interview – The IBS Network

We recently caught up with Nick Read; Chair & Medical Advisor to The IBS Network, in order to give us his thoughts on the massive success of The IBS Road Show, exciting new medical developments and the future plans for The IBS Network.

Nick is a former gastroenterologist, who is now working, in his spare time as a psychotherapist in order to continue to help patients manage their IBS.

The IBS Networks aim is to empower people with knowledge in order to facilitate self-management of conditions.

Please let us know your own thoughts below and if you would like any additional information feel free to contact us directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sam Bearfoot – Gives advice to IBS Patients

As April is IBS Awareness Month, we recently we spoke to Sam Bearfoot (The Digestion Detective, Kinesiologist and former IBS sufferer) about her own personal experiences living with IBS and asked what advice she would give to new patients.

Her short and inspiring insights can be view on the video interview below:

Please let us know your own thoughts below and if you would like any additional information feel free to contact us directly by Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exclusive Interview : Dr Mark Pimentel

Dr. Mark Pimentel, L.A based gastroenterologist, speaks out to us exclusively; discussing the medical community’s reactions to his latest findings, the role of breath testing in the diagnostic process, speculations that diet can treat SIBO and his reflections on the success of the first IBS Road Show in London.

Please let us know your own thoughts on the  topics discussed below or you can contact us directly at The Functional Gut Clinic By Phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or By email: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

PAGE 2——————————————————————

NICE: IBS Quality Standard Advisory Committee


NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) are openly reaching out for people to become patient members of a special committee that will help develop the quality standard on irritable bowel syndrome.

The Public Involvement Programme and the Health and Social Care Quality Programme are looking for applications from patients to join the committee that will develop a quality standard on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The person appointed as a ‘specialist lay member’ will play a key role in making sure that the views of patients and their carers, along with their experiences and interests, inform the development of the quality standard.

Stomach Ache

The roles of a ‘specialist lay member’ with include:

  • Bringing topic knowledge from a patient, service user or community perspective
  • Commenting on the ‘topic overview’ in order to help identify priority areas where the care or service is either poor or variable
  • Prioritising areas for the development of a quality standard using information from a range of sources collated by NICE
  • Helping to identify topic expert advisers
  • Helping to identify stakeholder organisations
  • Helping to refine the draft quality standard

We feel this is a very positive and important step forward towards much needed improvements in patient care pathways.

To read more or to download an application form please visit NICE official website:

IBS Quality Standard Advisory Committee 

If you have any questions regarding your own care please feel to contact us directly at The Functional Gut Clinic: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or email us at: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HEALTH WARNING: Heartburn is a ‘possible’ sign of cancer…

Heartburn is a ‘possible’ sign of cancer

A health campaign is urging people not to ignore heartburn, because it could be a sign of stomach or oesophageal cancer.


According to Public Health England, people should go to their doctor if they have persistent heartburn or difficulty swallowing food for three weeks or more. But it said most people were not aware of the symptoms. Stomach and oesophageal cancers are the fifth most common cancers in England. PHE figures show that around 12,900 people in England are diagnosed with these cancers each year and approximately 10,000 people die from the diseases annually.

Yet, around 950 lives could be saved each year if survival rates for oesophago-gastric cancers matched the best in Europe, it says.

Spotting the signs

At present, the UK has the highest rate of oesophageal cancer in men and women in the EU, which may be due to smoking, rising obesity levels, a lack of fruit and vegetables in our diet and regular alcohol consumption.

The earlier the cancers are diagnosed, the more likely the treatment is to be successful.

This is why Public Health England’s “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign is focusing on how to spot the signs of oesophageal or stomach cancer.

The signs can include:

  • Indigestion on and off for three weeks or more
  • Feeling food sticking in your throat when you swallow
  • Losing weight for no obvious reason
  • Trapped wind and frequent burping
  • Feeling full very quickly when eating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain or discomfort in top of stomach

If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at The Functional Gut Clinic as we will be more than happy to advise you on how to get a referral.

>>To read more on Acid Reflux and Treatment click HERE<<

For more information call The Functional Gut Clinic: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or email us at: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our bacterial zoo: its role in health and disease


The Royal Society of Medicine presents:

‘Our bacterial zoo: its role in health and disease’.

-Wednesday 4th February 2015-

1.00pm – 5.10pm

The human intestine is host to a vast soup of billions of microorganisms, forming a unique ecosystem living and metabolising within each of us. They are required to educate our immune system, digest our food and heal our injured guts, however, when the microbiota is disrupted, the imbalance can lead to, or potentiate, a variety of disease states.

This meeting explores our greater understanding of the human microbiome and outlines how it may be implicated in irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic liver disease and obesity. Our increasing knowledge has brought to light novel therapies for resistant pathologies including resistant Clostridium difficile infection and pouchitis; faecal transplantation has been promoted from laughing stock to primetime.

Pre and probiotics fill the shelves of our supermarkets and pharmacies, but is there any scientific basis to their panaceaic claims? Our relationship with our bacterial zoo is likely to define our future and we hope to point you and your patients in the right direction.


To register your place and view the full event agenda please see The Royal Society of Medicine’s official webpage: Our Bacterial Zoo: It’s role in health and disease.

-Accreditation: 3 CPD points-

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G0AE.

Fee: RSM members starts at £25 – Non RSM members starts at £30

Organised by: Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Look forward to seeing you there! 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

GI Physiology testing at Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Spire logo
We are delighted to announce that we are now fully functional at Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital to see both private and self pay patients for our full range of GI Physiology testing. We run monthly clinics which means there is no waiting list and no need to travel into central London as is the case for Kent patients at present. In addition, we can also take bookings via our NHS Choose and Book System.
If you have symptoms of acid reflux, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or incontinence ask your consultant or GP to refer you to our service for the appropriate test from our list below:
  • High resolution oesophageal manometry with Impedance 
  • 24 hour ambulatory oesophageal pH and Impedance
  • Hydrogen and Methane Breath Testing for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, lactose/fructose intolerance
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Small Bowel Physiology studies (using SmartPill’s wireless Motility Capsule)
  • High resolution ano-rectal manometry
  • Endo-anal Ultrasound
  • Pudendal Nerve Assessment
  • Evacuation Proctography
  • Biofeedback for faceal incontinence and evacuatory disorders

To download a request form please click here:  GI Physiology Request Form

For more information call The Functional Gut Clinic: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or email us at: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IBS Road Show: Speaker Presentations

Untitled-1 Cover New Test

The IBS Roadshow meeting in London last month was a huge success and we are very pleased to be able to share the presentations from the meeting with you. This includes the keynote lecture from Dr Mark Pimentel who described his impressive body of work showing that many IBS patients actually have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth which can in most cases be treated effectively with the correct dosing regimen of Rifaxamin (this dose is not commonly used in the UK). It was also fascinating to hear about the potential causative role of previous campylobacter infection in pre-disposing patients to SIBO and subsequent gastroenteric infections.

All the speakers brought an enormous wealth of interesting and thought provoking information – both from clinical and personal experiences. I hope you enjoy perusing these at your leisure. Filming of the presentations means that once the production team have finished their edit, you will be able to access these talks online.

Guest Speaker Presentations

-Click below to view online or select download to save a copy-

 Thanks again for your participation and interest in this event,

kind regards,


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Goodbye to Dr. Gao

It’s been almost 12 months but yesterday we said goodbye to our colleague and friend, Dr. Gao Feng.

IMG_6269 Dr G Upload WEB

Dr Gao travelled to the UK from China in order to undertake training in Advanced Gastro-intestinal Physiology at The Functional Gut Clinic. During his stay Dr. Gao participated in:

  • Analysing oesophageal high-resolution manometry and impedance.
  • Analysing 24-hour oesophageal Multi-Channel Intraluminal Impedance and pH Recordings.
  • Observing gastric emptying tests.
  • Observing and participating in the performance of hydrogen and methane breath test.
  • Observing, participating and reviewing data from the performance of Smartpill (wireless motility capsule) tests.
  • Observing, participating and reviewing data from the performance of high resolution ano-rectal manometry.

IMG_6265 Team Tweet NEW MAIL CHIMP

All of the staff at The Functional Gut Clinic would like to thank Dr. Gao for being an extremely valued member of the team as well as wishing him a safe trip home to his family and every success for the future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do you suffer after eating??

Do You suffer after eating?

Many people suffer from symptoms after eating. These symptoms can range from pain, heartburn, reflux, regurgitation, belching, bloating, distension and flatulence. Whilst these symptoms may not be considered serious in terms of life threatening conditions they carry with them considerable morbidity, pervading all aspects of the sufferers life at home, work and socially.

Whilst empirical treatment can be successful in many patients, for the remainder, they are often labelled with a ‘functional’ disorder and are expected to live with the condition or else become frequent visitors to Doctor’s surgeries, hospitals and tertiary centres.

In the last decade or so, there have been remarkable advances in the range and sensitivity of functional gastrointestinal (GI) diagnostics that offer an intermediate step in the healthcare pathway. These tests can often pinpoint the exact cause of a patient’s functional symptoms allowing targeted treatment strategies with excellent outcomes.

Read this fascinating case that describes how a patient literally avoided anti-reflux surgery by taking a simple breath test.

To read the full story please click here: Patient Case Study

If you have similar symptoms and would like to speak to us you can contact The Functional Gut Clinic by e-mail at: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com or by phone: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm)

Are you worried about visiting? Don’t be, just watch this video of Emma taking her test:

>>Emma takes a Hydrogen Breath Test<<

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The IBS Network

1 IBSLogo

The Functional Gut Clinic is proud to announce that we are now in official affiliation with The IBS Network.

The IBS Network is the UK’s national charity for IBS (www.theibsnetwork.org). Its mission is to inform, support and advise patients and to work alongside health care professionals to facilitate IBS self management.

As the only comprehensive, independent   information resource; The IBS Network publishes a unique IBS self care plan,  where you can access information on the nature of IBS, diagnosis, causes, diet, stress, medicines, therapies as well as on specific symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.  It also publishes a quarterly magazine (Gut Reaction), a monthly newsletter (Relief) and a regular health care professional bulletin (The Inside Story).   It runs a telephone helpline and a personal email response service staffed by health care professionals, supports campaigns and research and issues can’t wait cards to access toilet facilities in offices and stores.

The IBS Network is supported by professional opinion leaders in the field of IBS and offers support to patients and health care professionals by facilitating self-management.  The IBS Self Care Plan can be accessed free of charge from the website (www.theibsnetwork.org/the-self-care-plan), but for one to one advice via the helpline and email, a personal symptom tracker, Gut Reaction and can’t wait cards, membership costs £24 per annum.

2 IBSLogoText

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IBS Road Show London – A Multidisciplinary Event

Header Version Three


On behalf of the organising committee we are delighted to announce a uniquely themed multidisciplinary IBS symposium to be held on Friday 28th November 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth II Exhibition Centre, London.

The premise behind this meeting is to bring together Patient’s, Clinicians, Physiologists , Scientists, Dietitians, Nutritionists and Alternative Practitioners to share experiences, advice, ideas, exciting science and discuss current best practice and limitations in the diagnosis and treatment of IBS.

The aim of the meeting is to disseminate this knowledge amongst the wider patient and healthcare community.

The outcome document will provide the basis of a research proposal to update the current IBS pathway.

The full event agenda & leaning objectives can be viewed here: IBS Road Show Event Agenda & Learning Objectives

Attendance costs £100 for the day inclusive of hot buffet lunch and refreshments throughout. There are 30 sponsored places available for IBS patients which require a £50 deposit that is refundable on attendance.

PayPal 1

If you would like more information on how to apply for a sponsored place, please e-mail us at: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

November Logos Updated

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Do you suffer from chronic or reoccurring Irritable Bowel Syndrome? If so you may be eligible to take part in an all new, innovative national IBS research protocol

Basic RGB

Do you suffer from chronic or reoccurring Irritable Bowel Syndrome? If so you may be eligible to take part in an all new, innovative national IBS research protocol.

‘A randomised controlled trial to validate the use of caecal pH measurement as a biomarker in irritable bowel syndrome’

Led by The Functional Gut Clinic, if you are selected you will be placed under expert consultation with one of the counties leading Gastroenterologists.

Dr Anthony Hobson PhD, Consultant Clinical Scientist & Dr Adam Farmer PhD MRCP honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist are conducting a clinical study to demonstrate that caecal pH is a effective test to establish the degree of caecal fermentation in IBS.

Normalisation of the caecal pH environment will lead to symptomatic improvements. The two options are following a low FODMAP diet or being prescribed linaclotide.

At the end of the study every participant will receive a fully documented and comprehensive evaluation of our findings and details of how they relate to your own condition. These results along with our own recommendations can be shared with your own clinical practitioner or GP.

What we need from you

At this stage we are currently looking to gain patient and professional feedback on our proposed study before formal submission to the Ethics Committee.

We are particularly interested in your thoughts on the study design and how in your view this maybe improved, if at all.

Expressing an opinion on the proposed study does not in any way represent a commitment for you to take part.

Any feedback or thoughts you may have will be extremely beneficial; your support will constructively contribute towards potential ground breaking developments in future IBS treatment & care.

You can read more information on the IBS research protocol by following this link: IBS Research Protocol

Please leave feedback by directly replying to this post or contacting us directly:

Phone: +44 (0) 207 486 7777 e-mail: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

PAGE 3—————————————————————————————————-

Core Event: Exploring The Science of Digestion at Manchester Central

Core at Manchester 1

This week The Functional Gut Clinic attended Core’s seminar: Exploring The Science of Digestion at Manchester Central Convention Complex. The Event was held as part of the BSG Annual Meeting 2014, and was broken up into three talks lead by leading experts on the digestive system and the conditions that can affect it.

Fantastic Voyage Dr Mark McAlindon discussed the advantages of the current leading camera capsule technology over invasive endoscopy, as well as exciting new developments that may soon lead to remote controllable capsules becoming available; which will dramatically reduce the small risk of missing any existing internal conditions.

Beating that Irritable Bowel Dr Anton Emmanuel discussed how diet, lifestyle and treatment could help overcome the misery of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The Importance of Diet Dr Richard Johnston explained how what we eat and drink could influence the whole gut health as well as somewhat controversially questioning, what is really good for us anyway?

Core 2 Test

The event was cleverly aimed at both patients and medical professionals, creating an open and equal platform for patients, GPs and specialists to interact.

While all the talks were informative and deliberately optimistic, the question and answer sessions clearly demonstrated a great need for further IBS related education on a national scale. Several consultants bravely admitted that once life-threatening conditions had been eliminated that they actually had no idea what to prescribe for chronic bloating symptoms, which leaves little hope for patients that don’t immediately get referred to a professional gut clinic.

In conclusion this was a greatly enlightening experience, if you would like to attend Core’s next event you can find details on their website www.corecharity.org.uk, it is being held on Monday 24th November in London. 

Core Event: Exploring The Science of Digestion at Manchester Central

Core at Manchester 1

This week The Functional Gut Clinic attended Core’s seminar: Exploring The Science of Digestion at Manchester Central Convention Complex. The Event was held as part of the BSG Annual Meeting 2014, and was broken up into three talks lead by leading experts on the digestive system and the conditions that can affect it.

Fantastic Voyage Dr Mark McAlindon discussed the advantages of the current leading camera capsule technology over invasive endoscopy, as well as exciting new developments that may soon lead to remote controllable capsules becoming available; which will dramatically reduce the small risk of missing any existing internal conditions.

Beating that Irritable Bowel Dr Anton Emmanuel discussed how diet, lifestyle and treatment could help overcome the misery of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The Importance of Diet Dr Richard Johnston explained how what we eat and drink could influence the whole gut health as well as somewhat controversially questioning, what is really good for us anyway?

Core 2 Test

The event was cleverly aimed at both patients and medical professionals, creating an open and equal platform for patients, GPs and specialists to interact.

While all the talks were informative and deliberately optimistic, the question and answer sessions clearly demonstrated a great need for further IBS related education on a national scale. Several consultants bravely admitted that once life-threatening conditions had been eliminated that they actually had no idea what to prescribe for chronic bloating symptoms, which leaves little hope for patients that don’t immediately get referred to a professional gut clinic.

In conclusion this was a greatly enlightening experience, if you would like to attend Core’s next event you can find details on their website www.corecharity.org.uk, it is being held on Monday 24th November in London. 

AI SECURE: Secure Online Support for Neurogastroenterology and Capsule Endoscopy

Al Secure Logo

We are delighted to announce that the new, re-vamped secure web portal AI Secure is now up and running. The idea behind AI Secure is to offer a ‘safe haven’ for practitioners to upload their clinical files for assessment by experienced physiologists / clinicians when they are starting out with new technologies or if they come across unusual cases. This will usually be part of a support package when users buy new equipment but we can also set-up remote analysis contracts for busy clinical centres and for clinical trials.

For the rest of June we are inviting people to try out the service and to send some cases that they may need some additional input into the interpretation.

Simply got to www.aisecure.co.uk and register for an account, uploading the files is easy but if you need support contact us at: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Dr. Hobson elected to Neurogastroenterology and Motility committee council of the British Society of Gastroenterology.


We are happy to announce that Dr Anthony Hobson, has been elected by his peers to the Neurogastroenterology and Motility committee council of the British Society of Gastroenterology.

This committee aims to support training and education for all healthcare professionals interested in this fascinating field and to provide guidance documents for practitioners. Dr Hobson will be joined as a new member by Dr Rami Sweis, a Gastroenterologist from UCH and member of the Chicago consensus group for high resolution oesophageal manometry.

The British Society of Gastroenterology annual meeting will be held in Manchester later this month.


The Functional Gut clinic is proud to announce that our project; ‘A randomised controlled trail to validate the use of caecal pH and motility measurement as a biomarker in IBS’ submitted to ALMIRALL IBS-C GRANTS PROGRAM 2014 has been selected by the external scientific committee formed by Prof. Vincenzo Stanghellini (Bologna, Italy and Prof. Peter Layer (Hamburg, Germany) as one of two most outstanding candidates, picked out from 20 entries spread over 11 European countries.


Dr Anthony Hobson PhD, Clinical Scientist & Clinical Director of The Functional Gut Clinic, will be flying out to Barcelona this weekend for the prestigious award delivery that will take place during the Gastro International Day ’14 event.

Functional Guts

It may seem like a weird comparison but I like to think of what we do being analogous to what happens when we want to buy a car. You can find a car that looks perfectly good without any obvious defects but when you take it for a test drive it may be too slow, too fast or just plain old unreliable and unpredictable. The problem is not in how the car looks but how in functions and you can only find that out by testing it. The same thing applies to the human gut.

Most of our patients have had tests to rule out any serious inflammatory or cancerous conditions, which is obviously very important to do. However, many patients still have severe symptoms of nausea, bloating, chest pain, constipation, diarrhoea etc, which have a massive impact on their quality of life. The gut looks fine but it’s not functioning properly and that is what we test at The Functional Gut Clinic in Central London www.thefunctionalgutclinic.com

Gut Engine WEB

We use state of the art technology to assess all aspects of gut function and try to bring together information from a patient’s medical history with their symptoms, physiological profile and behaviour in order to come up with a definitive diagnosis. This then enables their Doctor to prescribe the correct treatment and manage their patient’s condition effectively.

As we are a small and relatively unknown branch of the medical profession it has been important to get information out there to the public about what we do and what we can offer them, which is often hope at first, followed by effective medical care.

These services are complementary to conventional GI diagnostics and add value to the patient and Doctor experience.

Constipation symptoms and their danger

severe constipationAt some point in our lives, many of us will suffer from constipation symptoms occasionally. Diet, a disruption to your normal lifestyle, medications – all these factors can be causes of constipation and can often be easily explained and treated.

However, you should never ignore severe constipation because it indicates that there may be something wrong with your digestive system and it will cause serious medical complications if left untreated for too long.

A major problem with severe constipation simply comes down to the amount of faeces being held in your system. If stools become impacted and heavy they stretch the colon, causing damage to the colon and the anal canal and cause haemorrhoids as you strain to open your bowels. More seriously, constipation can lead to infection and potentially life threatening illness.

Constipation symptoms can be extremely painful and frightening and the problem with taking over the counter constipation remedies, such as laxatives is that they do not address the reason of why you are suffering from this problem.

It is true that as we age we tend to suffer from constipation more frequently. In addition, lack of exercise, insufficient fibre in the diet and simply not drinking enough water will make it worse.

Severe constipation can be extremely dangerous so if you have gone more than a few days without opening your bowels naturally you should consider seeking medical advice. If you are caring for someone, it is crucial that you monitor their bowel movements to ensure they are not suffering from severe constipation without your knowledge.

Talking about this most private function can be embarrassing but ensuring that constipation symptoms do not go untreated is essential for health. If it is a reoccurring problem, it is important to see a specialist because in many cases a GP will just prescribe laxatives in order “to move things along” and this does not always work.

At the very extreme end of the spectrum, we recently heard of an elderly lady who ran into appalling problems because her constipation symptoms were left to go on unnoticed for too long. After suffering from severe abdominal pain and unable go to the toilet, despite taking constipation remedies, she began vomiting faeces.

She was rushed straight into hospital and into intensive care where she was found to be suffering from sepsis – a life threatening infection caused by faecal bacteria. She had to have large part of her colon removed and a colostomy bag fitted.

The frustrating part about this extremely horrible true life story is that had this elderly lady’s constipation symptoms been noticed earlier and she had received the correct treatment for constipation, this distressing experience could have been entirely prevented.

Read a full story here: The Danger of Constipation

Acid reflux symptoms and aging process

Aging processOld age doesn’t come alone as the saying goes! And although there are benefits to getting older, many of us notice an increase in some common digestive health disorders as we age. Acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn or indigestion can affect us more frequently than when we were younger.

There are many reasons for this. One can be put down to general wear and tear. If you suffer from acid reflux disease on a regular basis, it may be due to the weakening of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle.

This muscle acts like a valve and its purpose is to prevent stomach acid rising back up into the gullet and mouth. If your acid reflux symptoms are persistent, you need to see your doctor and may need surgery to repair this problem.

It is important to take medical advice for acid reflux disease. Left untreated long term, acid reflux can cause severe medical complications such as oesophageal ulcers and even oesophageal cancer.

However, in most cases there are lifestyle changes that can improve and even stop acid reflux completely. Sometimes making small changes will avoid the need for any acid reflux treatment so it is important to try these first before you need to take medication or follow a surgery option.

Food is a major culprit and most people find there are foods to avoid for acid reflux. These include fried and fatty food or anything too rich and creamy. These foodstuffs are notorious for causing acid reflux symptoms as we age, and switching to a healthier diet may help minimise your symptoms and help you lose weight as well.

With the advancing years many people find obesity an increasing problem, and keeping fit, watching your weight and taking some regular exercise will also help reduce the causes of acid reflux.

It is not just processed foods that cause a problem. Natural healthy foods such as lemons, onions, cucumber and tomatoes can also increase acid reflux symptoms. The same foods do not affect everyone, so it is important to note the foods that appear to be the causes of acid reflux in your particular case and simply avoid them!

You may find that eating your main meal at lunchtime will help stop acid reflux. Eating too much too late in the evening and going to bed after a late night curry may be fine when we are young but as we age causes acid reflux symptoms and should be avoided.

Switching to a healthier diet and making some lifestyle changes is better than simply ignoring it and reaching for Gaviscon after each meal. Adapting your diet to improve your health naturally is good for long term general health. Make some changes now and you may find that you can stop acid reflux before it becomes problem in your later years.

Causes of blood in the stools

blood_in_stoolNoticing blood in your stools is alarming! Most people fear the worse when this happens and suspect it is a symptom of a serious medical condition such as cancer. However, there are many causes of blood in your poo and the first step is not to ignore it but to visit your doctor.

One of the most common causes of blood in the stools is haemorrhoids (piles) or an anal fissure – a small tear in the skin around your anus. In these cases, the blood will be bright red indicating that it originates from near your anus and the bleeding can be made worse by constipation and straining.

If your doctor diagnoses piles as a cause of your blood in the stools, ensure that your diet is not making any constipation symptoms worse. Drinking plenty of water, taking exercise and eating fibre can provide constipation relief and may be enough to prevent the recurrence. Do not strain on the toilet, it really can make the situation worse. Wait for a strong urge to go to the toilet and when you feel the muscles relax, it’s time to push. Straining is bad in a whole host of ways!

If the blood is dark, the problem originates from higher in your digestive system and may originate from your colon. Diverticula are small pouches in the colon (large intestine) that contain blood vessels. If these are weakened and burst, they will cause sudden bowel bleeding. Diverticulitis is also common medical condition, which can cause bowel bleeding. This occurs when the diverticula become infected and in most cases, it can be treated with antibiotics. Eating more fibre will help improve these conditions but it needs to be managed in conjunction with your Doctor’s careful advice.

Angiodysplasia can cause rectal bleeding. It is caused by the blood vessels of the colon becoming weakened and enlarged leading to painless bowel bleeding and is a condition, which often affects older people.

Some medication can cause blood in the stools. Warfarin is a blood-thinning agent, which prevents against blood clots and can cause internal bleeding so it is important to mention your medication when you see your doctor.

Bowel bleeding can also be caused by gastroenteritis and show up in diarrhoea. This usually passes once the illness has passed.

One of the first symptoms of colon cancer is bowel bleeding. This cancer is hard to detect and usually blood in the stools is the first warning. Bowel cancer can be treated if caught earlier enough, so if you notice blood in the stools it is important to take immediate action.

Many people find visiting the doctor to talk about this most private function very embarrassing. However if you have experienced bowel bleeding or have noticed blood on your toilet paper, it is important to take action and get checked out by your doctor immediately.

FoodAllergiesAcid reflux is very common but despite this, the causes of acid reflux are not always easy to identify. It occurs when your stomach acid leaves the stomach and makes its way into the oesophagus leading to heart burn, pain, nausea and a whole range of unpleasant acid reflux symptoms.

There can be a variety of reasons why this occurs and sometimes it is because of lifestyle reasons such as eating too much rich food. Alternatively it may be a physical problem with the sphincter muscle which keeps acid in the stomach failing to work effectively.

However, in many cases, symptoms which feel like acid reflux (indigestion, belching, gas, heartburn etc) can be caused by intolerance to certain foods and this is not always so easy to identify. You may already have a list of foods to avoid for acid reflux because you have noticed that acid reflux disease occur after eating certain foods but in many cases it is not one specific food that is causing the problem but an entire food group.

Dairy products can cause acid reflux symptoms. Sometimes this is attributed to the high fat content of milk ,cream or cheese but it may actually be due to lactose intolerance. This condition is caused by a lack of enzymes in your gut which your body needs to break down milk and dairy products.

It seems counter intuitive to attribute milk to causing acid reflux so if you do not realise that you have an allergy, milk may be one of the last foods to avoid for acid reflux on your list. Identifying your problem will enable you to avoid it. If you also get lower bowel symptoms such as bloating and loose bowel motions after consuming dairy then this is also a sign you may be intolerant of it.

Fructose intolerance is also a common cause of acid reflux. This occurs when the intestine cannot readily absorb this more complex sugar and it ‘overloads’ the system. Fructose is present in a wide range of foodstuff including cakes and pastries, alcohol, breakfast cereals, pizza, diet drinks, sodas and some fresh fruit and veg. It can be difficult to avoid.

Find out why some fruits can cause bloating: http://youtu.be/3Xw-iLf3n84

Taking a hydrogen breath test will establish whether your acid reflux symptoms can be attributed to lactose or fructose intolerance. It also importantly tells us if there is any bacteria in the small bowel (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) which may be fermenting these sugars before you have chance to absorb them, which can cause reflux like symptoms.

Some foods not in these groups can also cause acid reflux symptoms and you may find you have to avoid these too. Caffeine is a trigger for many as is fried food and high fat food. Eating too late, eating too much, spicy food, fatty food – these are all common causes of acid reflux.

In many cases keeping to a “healthy diet” may help you avoid acid reflux symptoms but not always. After all, if you suffer from a food intolerance you will not be able to avoid the symptoms of acid reflux until you fully understand the cause. Remember, to eat well and not too late at night!

Food that helps with reflux

food for acid reflux sufferersWhen it comes to advice about acid reflux, there is always a lot of information about the type of foods to avoid for acid reflux; those nasty culprits that should be cut from your diet in order to prevent the condition.

Although it would be great to be able to create a list of food that helps with reflux, life is not quite as easy that. There is no fixed diet that will prevent acid reflux. We are all different and we all have different triggers as the causes for acid reflux. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another.

To find out your own specific causes of acid reflux, try keeping a detailed food diary for a week and noting your food, time of day and symptoms, not forgetting any beverages that you may drink.

Once you have completed this, you will have a better idea of the foods to avoid for acid reflux and can move onto the food that helps with reflux.

Here are some suggestions that may help you avoid acid reflux symptoms.

Oatmeal. Starting the day with a bowl of porridge will set you up for the day. Oatmeal can lower cholesterol and this complex carbohydrate and water-soluble fibre encourages slow digestion and stabilises blood sugar. If your acid reflux symptoms are down to lactose intolerance, you will have to add soymilk or water rather than cows milk.

Banana. Some people with acid reflux are sensitive to bananas but most people find them an ideal replacement for snacks and chocolates. Bananas are low in acid and ideal for staving off hunger pangs when acid reflux symptoms can hit.

Chicken and Turkey (remove skin) Low fat meat is unlikely to cause as many acid reflux symptoms and most people who suffer from the condition find this meat easy to digest. Grill or roast for the best results.

Herbal teas or tisanes. It is a sad fact but too much caffeine can cause acid reflux symptoms. Try replacing some of your beverages with herb or fruit teas. If you enjoy tea, try drinking Rooibush tea. It is an excellent replacement for normal tea and is caffeine free.

Fish and Seafood. Low fat and full of minerals and vitamins, fish and seafood is low in acid and rarely causes acid reflux symptoms. Go easy with the lemon, vinegar and white wine!

Vegetables. Rich in fibre and vitamins, eating green veg counts towards one of your five a day and is essential for health. Don’t forget the roots such as Swede carrot and potatoes. Vegetables are rarely the causes of acid reflux and have numerous health benefits.

Ginger can be idea for treating gastrointestinal problems and if spicy food is a problem try eating crystallised ginger as a replacement for sweets and chocolate. Many people find this reduces the symptoms of acid reflux

Rice and bread. Complex carbohydrates are important for health especially wholegrains. Adding more fibre to your diet will help stop acid reflux.

Take pressure of your sphincter! Don’t eat too large a portion, or eat late at night (before bed). Also if you want to exercise wait 45-60 minutes until after eating, this allows most of the meal to empty into the small bowel and gives you a fuel boost too for your workout.

When should you ask your doctor about hydrogen breath test?

hydrogen breath test diagramIf you get acid reflux symptoms a lot, it might mean that you are suffering from intolerance of a specific food group rather than a general sensitivity to individual ingredients. You may have already have a long list of foods to avoid for acid reflux and have tried making lifestyle changes, such as not eating too late at night and doing more exercise, but all to no avail.

Although taking steps yourself can be enough to bring about an acid reflux cure, your acid reflux symptoms may require further investigation and a hydrogen breath test may provide complementary information to help provide you with the right answer.

A hydrogen breath test is a simple and painless investigation into bloating, indigestion and acid reflux symptoms. This test provides information about your digestion with the view of reaching a permanent acid reflux cure. The test requires you to drink a glass of water usually containing lactulose (a non digestible sugar) but also lactose or fructose can be used. Breath samples are taken before you drink the solution and baseline symptom scores are measured.

Breath samples are blown into the test machine every 15 minutes. The full test takes around two hours. Although you do have to prepare for your hydrogen breath test by fasting 12 hours beforehand and being careful not to take antibiotics or medication in the time frame preceding the test , it is simple painless and stress free.

Importantly it will determine if bacterial fermentation and/or sugar mal-absorption may be contributing to your acid reflux symptoms so that you will get relief from this painful and unpleasant medical condition.

The hydrogen breath test works on a simple principle. Hydrogen gas is produced by intestinal bacteria and by examining your breath samples your doctor or specialist will be able to pinpoint the cause of your bloating, nausea and sometimes acid reflux disease symptoms.

If you are lactose intolerant, for example your body lacks the vital enzymes to break down dairy and milk products. Instead, these pass to the colon where they form gas, and can causes symptoms of acid reflux, bloating, cramping and diarrhoea.

If you are Fructose intolerant, your body is unable to absorb fruit sugars completely leading to fermentation in the gut – the cause of dyspepsia, acid reflux symptoms, a bloated tummy constipation or diarrhoea.

The hydrogen breath tests can also show if there is an abnormal bacteria growth is the small intestine. This is tested by using lactulose a non-digestible sugar which will highlight this condition.

The beauty of the hydrogen breath test is that it is simple, accurate and non-invasive. Once the test results have been analysed in the lab, you should know the if these abnormal processes are contributing to the causes of acid reflux for your specific condition. That way when you make dietary changes you can be sure that you are cutting out the right foods that cause the problems.

Without the hydrogen breath test, you cannot pinpoint the true causes of your digestive problems often leading to a frustrating round of trial and error where you try cutting out certain foods without success. If you suspect your acid reflux symptoms may be being caused by something more than an “unhealthy” diet and lifestyle, see your doctor and arrange to take a hydrogen breath test. That way you can finally look forward to an acid reflux cure that actually works.

What are the causes of constipation?

colon cleanseThere can be many causes of constipation. Some of them are well known and can be attributed to diet and lifestyle. For example, a lack of exercise and activity can cause severe constipation and a diet that is too heavy on processed food and too light on natural fibre will have the same effect.

If you suffer from constipation, making some changes into your life may be enough to cure your constipation symptoms without resorted to constipation treatment such as laxatives.

Ensuring that you eat your five, a day will help. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of fibre and fibre keeps your digestive system and bowels working efficiently

Wholegrain breads and pasta are good sources of fibre too so switching to wholemeal products over white refined carbs should improve your constipation symptoms and may even help you lose weight!

Some foods are notorious causes of constipation. Too much dairy – such as milk and cheese can cause constipation and even too much chocolate may cause you to become constipated. Changing your diet to something healthier may provide a permanent cure for constipation. 

Constipation can be caused by a lack of exercise and this particularly affects elderly people who may not be as active as they once were. However, you don’t have to commit to running the marathon or a gruelling gym regime to improve your constipation symptoms. Even a gentle walk or some housework or gardening may be enough to give you constipation relief.

There are causes of constipation that can be harder to pinpoint.

Some medication will cause constipation as a side effect. Heart and blood pressure medication, painkillers and even vitamin supplements such as iron supplements can lead to constipation. Anti depressants can have the same effect and if you are taking medication and notice that you are suffering from constipation symptoms see your doctor for advice.

If you have already been taking laxatives for constipation relief and have now stopped you may find that your body has become dependent on them. Some laxatives work by stimulating bowel activity causing you a problem once you stop. You should not take laxatives without first consulting your doctor.

If you suffer from acid reflux symptoms, you probably take antacids for relief. These can actually cause constipation symptoms due to their calcium or aluminium content.

Changing your diet to include more natural fibres and cutting out some of the foods to avoid with acid reflux will help you improve your constipation too.

Some medical conditions cause constipation and you do need to check with your doctor to ensure that it is not a symptom of something more serious.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis for example both can cause constipation symptoms and hyperthyroidism (underactive thyroid) can be difficult to spot especially in younger people but often causes constipation symptoms as a side effect.

If you suffer from constipation it is important to seek medical advice. While it may be possible to improve this by making diet and lifestyle changes, your constipation symptoms might be caused by a medical condition that needs further treatment.

How to improve your digestion naturally?

acid-reflux-diet-menuImproving your digestion naturally can help alleviate acid reflux symptoms and sometimes making simple changes can work surprisingly well. Here are 9 tips to help you improve your digestion.

1/ Chew your food properly! Do you remember your mother nagging you to chew more when you were young? Turns out, she was right. Chewing creates saliva, which helps neutralise acids as they enter the mouth and it kills off bacteria before it enters your blood stream. Chewing your food will help prevent acid reflux symptoms.

2/ Take time to eat and even if you are very hungry do not bolt your food. Taking in air (aerophagia) when you eat can lead to dyspepsia symptoms. In addition, eating too quickly does not give your brain time to register that you are full.

Eating too much too quickly is one of the major causes of bloating and acid reflux.

3/ Focus on your food and take time to enjoy it! Don’t just chomp away absent mindedly in front of the TV without noticing what’s on your plate. Do that and you are just asking for acid reflux disease!

4/ Try putting your knife and fork down and taking a break while you are eating your meal. That way it gives your digestion a chance to cope and will help minimise acid reflux symptoms.

5/ It can be hard to enjoy food if you eat alone. If you do have a family or partner at home with you, eat with them. It helps improve your digestion if you take your time with your meal and enjoy it. If your digestion is working effectively, you are less likely to suffer from acid reflux symptoms.

6/ Drink! It is always nice to drink a glass of wine with your meal on occasions but water goes with everything and is free! Drinking water with your meal helps you digest your food and helps stop acid reflux simply by “washing your food down”.

7/ Don’t eat too late. Consuming a big meal late in the evening and going to bed shortly after, is one of the major causes of acid reflux. Try switching to eating your main meal of the day at lunchtime. Alternatively eat smaller meals more frequently.

8/ Don’t lay down after eating. It might be tempting to take 40 winks after Sunday lunch for example but lying down after eating is a no no when it comes to severe acid reflux. If you feel tired after eating, 30 minutes asleep in the chair where your head is in a raised position will be preferable.

9/ Change your diet. Some foods make acid reflux symptoms much worse. We all have our individual triggers but in general, fried, fatty and rich food can cause a problem as well as some natural foodstuffs such as cucumber or onions. Take note of the foods to avoid with acid reflux and keep to it.

It can be hard because often the foods that we enjoy are often the ones that cause a problem.

Acid reflux disease is closely linked to diet and lifestyle so simple changes that help your digestion can be enough to provide a permanent acid reflux cure.

Acid Reflux diet tips and dangers

We all experience acid reflux symptoms sometimes. Heart burn, chest pain, nausea, pain that sets in after a big meal – all these are common symptoms of acid reflux disease that can be easily identified. In addition, there are a range of acid reflux symptoms that may not be as easy to spot. These include sore throat, a choking feeling and trouble in swallowing and more.

Although it is important to check out any of these symptoms with your doctor or specialist in order to find the right acid reflux treatment for you, there is a lot you can do to help yourself.

It is important to remember that what causes acid reflux in one person may not necessary cause it in another, so you do need to take note of what you eat and drink in order to find out your specific acid reflux triggers. Food does not necessarily have to be unhealthy to cause you a problem and discovering the foods to avoid with acid reflux can come up with some surprising culprits.

Fried food and rich spicy foods are well known for causing acid reflux symptoms but less common culprits maybe starches such as oatmeal, tofu and beans. Although these are healthy ingredients and oatmeal seems so bland that it is hard to believe it can do anything, these common foodstuffs can be a cause of acid reflux for some people.

Likewise with fruit. We need to eat our five a day but some people find that apple peel, bananas and even strawberries or grapefruit can cause acid reflux symptoms. Cucumber is well known for causing acid reflux symptoms as well as onions, tomatoes and cabbage. Honey can cause acid reflux symptoms too and when it comes to drinks even innocuous beverages such as tomato juice and milk can aggravate the condition.

acid reflux diet

Because we are all individuals, we find that our sensitivity to food is equally varied. The causes of acid reflux can be linked to food allergies and sensitivity to certain food groups such as lactose or wheat.

If this is you then discovering and then cutting out the food group or specific foods which are causing you the problem may be enough to stop acid reflux once and for all.

The best course of action to take if you find you are suffering from acid reflux symptoms on a regular basis is to keep a food diary and try eliminating some of the foods that you eat.

You will soon find out. Acid reflux usually comes on very quickly after eating so whatever dietary changes you make may make an almost instant difference. In many cases, knowing your triggers and the types of foods to avoid with acid reflux will be enough to cure it. It is important not to ignore acid reflux symptoms. They can cause serious medical problems and may be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition. However, making some dietary and lifestyle changes may be enough to stop acid reflux entirely.

How to deal with reflux in infants / babies?

acid reflux in infantsAs all parents know, most babies regurgitate sometimes after feeding. These “wet burps” that often end up on your shoulder, are a result of the milk (either formula or breast milk) causing acid reflux symptoms. Babies are prone to what is colloquially called colic or wind but can be classed as acid reflux and most grow out of it by the time they are around a year old.

It can be distressing and painful for a baby to suffer from acid reflux symptoms, but in most cases, it quickly passes. Dyspepsia symptoms can be eased with gripe water preparations and “burping” your baby by gently rocking and patting the back will help ease the condition.

However in some cases you will need to seek medical advice to ensure that your baby’s acid reflux symptoms are not interfering with his or her ability to thrive or are an indication of a more serious condition. Acid reflux disease or GORD does affect babies and small children and will require suitable acid reflux treatment in order to cure it. Treatment, which is suitable for this young age group but more effective than simple gripe water!

Diagnosing acid reflux disease in young babies is not easy. They cannot tell you how they feel so you do need see your doctor or a specialist if symptoms persist, for a thorough examination.

Acid reflux symptoms can be especially dangerous in young babies because if he or she is spitting up food after each feed, baby will not be receiving enough nutrition.

It is important to seek medical advice and get suitable acid reflux treatment to stop this as soon as possible

One indication that the baby may be suffering from severe acid reflux is an arching movement that he or she may make when suffering a burning sensation in the gut.

Other signs include:

  • Frequent belching or hiccups
  • Rattling in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Frequent vomiting,
  • Choking
  • Sour breath smell
  • Failure to thrive and gain weight.

Older infants may display fussiness at meal times or a reluctance to eat and babies and infants of all ages may display a range of symptoms including;

Frequent colds and infections,

  • Coughing fits,
  • Sore throats
  • Stomach aches.

These conditions are easily misdiagnosed but are common acid reflux symptoms in infants, and can lead to future long term medical problems.

The difficulty with diagnosing acid reflux symptoms in babies and young infants is that it is easy for a G.P. to mistake them for other common childhood conditions such as asthma or bronchitis.

The causes of acid reflux. Minimising the symptoms.

acid refluxIf you often experience acid reflux symptoms, it is important to get yourself checked out so that the most effective acid reflux treatment can be prescribed for your particular condition.

The symptoms of acid reflux are caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the oesophagus. This may be caused by a medical reason; such as the failure of the sphincter muscle, which usually holds the bottom of the food tube shut, failing to work effectively, or it may be an indication of an underlying health problem.

Left long term, acid reflux can cause a range of potential health problems such as inflammation in the food tube and throat and even increase your risk of cancer in severe cases.

However, you can help minimise acid reflux symptoms yourself by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Many risk factors can be attributed as the direct causes of acid reflux, whether you suffer from it occasionally or it is a long-term condition.

• Obesity. If you are overweight, you are more likely to suffer from acid reflux symptoms. Losing some weight, taking some exercise and adopting a healthier lifestyle may help reduce symptoms.

• Your normal diet. There is a long list of foods to avoid for acid reflux. These include fried foods, spicy food or fatty rich food. You may find that natural foods such as tomatoes, lemons and cucumber may also cause acid reflux symptoms.

Many rich foods such as chocolate and cakes are also a trigger. Most people find that they have a personal list of foods to avoid for acid reflux as well as those foodstuffs, which are intrinsically unhealthy.

• Eating too much at meal times. Your diet may be healthy but if you eat too much you may suffer from acid reflux symptoms. Don’t feel compelled to clear your plate to please other people.

• The time and the way that you eat may be causes of acid reflux. Eating too late in the evening and going to bed after a big dinner is well known for causing acid reflux symptoms. Exercising and bending down after a meal also causes the acid reflux effect.

• Your drinking habits may be causes of acid reflux. Some types of alcohol such as white wine are acidic and fizzy drinks and even coffee and tea can cause severe acid reflux. Even if you only drink any of these beverages or alcoholic drinks in moderation, switching to alternatives may improve acid reflux symptoms and ensuring that you drink plenty of water will help.

• Smoking. Yes, it is bad for you and everyone knows it is dangerous for your general health. It is also a direct cause of acid reflux so should be avoided.

• Medication can be among the causes of acid reflux. Try to avoid Ibuprofen based drugs as they irritate the gut lining and ensure you always read the directions on any medication. There will usually be a warning if the medication causes this side effect. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for an alternative.

• Not getting any younger! As we age, we are more likely to suffer from acid reflux symptoms. Many people just cannot take the same lifestyle, diet and alcohol habits as they did when younger and need to make lifestyle changes to improve the condition.

So in summary, there are many ways you can try and reduce symptoms yourself but if they persist, go and see you Doctor and if the medicine they try doesn’t work then get tested!

How to recognise dyspepsia symptoms?

IndigestionMost of us suffer from dyspepsia occasionally and although it is not dangerous, dyspepsia symptoms are unpleasant and uncomfortable. Heartburn, a bloated stomach as well as other acid reflux symptoms are common problems that are often caused by diet and lifestyle and come under the description of dyspepsia.

Sometimes you can identify the foods to avoid for acid reflux and dyspepsia because you get to learn from personal experience just what type of food sets you off.

However, you only have to look at the increased amount of advertising for the perfect acid reflux cure on TV each Christmas to see that this is a common problem for lot of us. That feeling of a bloated stomach after eating too much almost seems part of the festive ritual!

Although in many cases dyspepsia is caused by lifestyle, often dyspepsia symptoms cannot be explained away. Sometimes these require further investigation and possibly longer term medication than an over the counter antacid medication can provide.

Dyspepsia symptoms can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Peptic ulcers for example usually come with dyspepsia symptoms and acid reflux so it is important to check that there are not any underlying health problems if you regularly suffer from these symptoms.

One common medical problem is Gastro -Oesophageal Reflux Disease or GORD.

Millions of people suffer from GORD without even realising they have a long term medical condition. The symptoms include abdominal pain after eating, bloated stomach, heartburn, belching, regurgitation, sore throat and nausea – all the dyspepsia symptoms that some people may get occasionally but will make life a misery on a regular basis. In some cases, dyspepsia symptoms include vomiting and acid reflux.

Mild cases of GORD can often be treated with medication and by making lifestyle changes such as following a dyspepsia diet and removing spicy or fried food or certain food groups from your diet.

Dyspepsia symptoms may also be caused by Gastritis a common condition caused by an erosion or inflamation of the stomach lining. Onset of gastritis can be sudden or in alternative scenarios, it builds up over time. It can easily be misdiagnosed as indigestion or IBS so it is important to get any long-term symptoms checked out in order to find the best cure or dyspepsia treatment for your specific case.

The good news for sufferers is that there are some simple tests that can determine the cause of your dyspepsia symptoms.

One of these is the hydrogen breath test which tests for food intolerances such as lactose intolerance or fructose intolerance and simply requires you to breath into a test machine. If intolerance is the cause of your dyspepsia symptoms then dietary changes may be enough to improve your condition.

Alternatively, you may be asked to swallow a smart pill. This pill, roughly the same size as a cod liver oil tablet, measures the function of the bowel and reports vital information from your gastrointestinal tract to highlight the cause of problems, including gastric diseases. Easy and painless, the capsule passes through your system in a few days.

The important issue to remember is that although dyspepsia is commonplace and hits all of us occasionally it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Therefore, it is important to get your dyspepsia symptoms checked out, to both improve your daily life as well as prevent against future problems.

How to find the right treatment for constipation symptoms?

get rid of constipation

Constipation can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. Most of us experience constipation symptoms occasionally and usually it is a short-lived condition that soon passes. However for some people severe constipation can be part of daily life and instead of a temporarily inconvenience it develops into a chronic condition.

Constipation symptoms can be hard to live with. You may experience a bloated belly or abdomen and experience pain when you attempt to pass stools (poo). You may be unable to empty your bowels completely and feel as if you want to visit the toilet but are unable to do so. The feeling of a swollen stomach and the uncomfortable feeling of being “bunged up” and unable to do anything about it can be frightening. In many cases of severe constipation, once you do manage to pass a motion, your bowel movements may be hard and hurt as they pass through your system.

There are numerous constipation remedies on the market and over the counter laxatives may give some temporary constipation relief. However, it is not a permanent solution and over use of laxatives may cause your body to become dependent on them and lead to problems that are more permanent.

The good news is that in many cases, you can find the best treatment for constipation yourself and your constipation symptoms can be alleviated by a change of diet and lifestyle. Including more fibre into your diet and ensuring that you drink plenty of fluids will help and taking some gentle exercise as part of your daily routine may be enough to provide a permanent and successful treatment for constipation.

The causes of constipation can be varied. It is important to always visit the toilet when you get the urge to open your bowels otherwise you may find yourself temporarily constipated. Anyone can suffer from constipation symptoms if they are prevented or reluctant to use the toilet or lack the necessary time to open the bowels properly. Severe Constipation can be a phenomenon of camping holidays and pop festivals!

If you have tried constipation remedies without success, you may need to establish exactly what is happening with your bowel and diet.

There are a range of tests that can be used to establish the exact causes of constipation for your specific case.

One of these is the colonic transit test. This painless examination looks at the causes of constipation and requires you to swallow five tablet-sized capsules, which are then tracked via x ray as they make their way through the digestive system.

Your doctor will be able to ascertain whether a delayed colonic transit is causing your constipation and will be able to prescribe the necessary constipation treatment to deal with the problem.

Constipation is not dangerous but it can be extremely unpleasant. Severe constipation can lead to haemorrhoids (piles) caused by straining, faecal impactation where dried stools are stored in the rectum or even faecal incontinence – where stools turn to liquid and pass from the body without control.

The only way to find a permanent cure for constipation is to understand your specific causes for constipation . That way you can be confident that your constipation treatment will be effective for your condition.

Why am I bloating after eating some fruits?

Feeling bloated after eating is an uncomfortable feeling that we all suffer from occasionally especially around big occasions like Christmas. However if you suffer from bloating on a regular basis it might not be the amount of food that you eat but caused by something else entirely.

Take a look at our video and find out more about the causes of bloating and how to avoid it.. Bloating is often caused by food intolerance or sensitivity and finding out what may be causing your abdominal pain after eating or swollen stomach is the first step to curing the problem.

Acid reflux – symptoms and treatment

acid reflux treatmentAcid reflux can be a miserable condition. Severe acid reflux can cause real discomfort, vomiting and a range of uncomfortable other symptoms. . Most of us suffer from the symptoms occasionally but when it becomes an everyday occurrence, it can seriously affect your everyday life.

Acid reflux treatment can vary according to the severity of the condition. In some cases, a change in diet and lifestyle will be sufficient to improve it and there are also over the counter medications that may help. Taking antacids, which neutralise stomach acid, can reduce symptoms but do not provide a complete cure.

Learning to live with severe acid reflux is not as desirable as finding a permanent cure. Even if you change your diet and cut out certain foods, you still may need to visit a specialist in order to cure the problem.

One acid reflux diagnostic test you may be offered is an oesophageal pH/Impedance test. This simple test measures and monitors acid levels in the stomach and in the gullet as well as measuring non-acid reflux (which occurs mainly after eating) and gas. This enables your doctor to determine the pattern and severity of reflux which then helps them decide on the most appropriate treatment.

An oesophageal pH/Impedance test requires a tiny probe to be inserted into the oesophagus via the nose and this is connected to a recording box which is worn for 24 hours. Once this is in place you can carry out your ordinary life at home and return to the clinic the following day to have it removed. This is an easy procedure and will not affect your ability to eat, talk or breathe.

Your acid reflux symptoms may be exacerbated by certain behaviour and by monitoring your acid reflux over a 24-hour period, your doctor will be able to recommend the correct treatment for your particular condition.

Once the results of the oesophageal pH/Impedance test reasons are analysed, the most effective treatment will be used to stop acid reflux as effectively as possible.

‘Smart pill’ that analyses how whole gut is working as it passes through could ease IBS

smart pillA new smart pill could offer hope to thousands of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by delivering accurate information about the gut.

The capsule is swallowed and travels through the system analysing details such as how quickly food moves along the colon, acidity, pressure and temperature.

This is relayed to a monitor worn on the patient’s waist for several days as they go about their daily activities.

Experts hope the pill will lead to much more accurate treatment for people with IBS and other long-term unexplained but frequently painful digestive problems.

Doctors at the private Princess Grace Hospital in central London have become the first in Europe to use the SmartPill.
While other swallowed devices can take images of a patient’s gut, this is the first to assess information on how it is functioning.

dr anthony hobsonGastro-physiologist Dr Anthony Hobson said the clinic sees patients who have been consulting NHS doctors for years but who have not always experienced an improvement in their condition.‘There is such a big proportion of the population who are suffering in this way but now we have a proven and excellent procedure that can give us important information from the whole gut very quickly and conveniently,” he said.

‘This is a real breakthrough and gives many people real hope of a better quality of life by obtaining a more definitive diagnosis.

‘The capsule is fairly unique in the way it works. Camera-based pills are good for looking at things like inflammation or blockages but this pill tells us about the function of the gut.

‘We are looking at how the gut works and empties, and for the first time we are able to look at the different components of the gut.

‘This is really the first ingestible telemetric device that tells us anything about gut function.’

Dr Hobson said the term IBS is rarely used in his clinic.

‘It’s a term that people and GPs use to put a label on something,’ he said.

‘But quite often, with more detailed investigations, we can find what’s going on.’

The pill can also avoid the need for other invasive tests, such as a tube down the throat.

‘The problem we have is that by the time we see patients, they have been to see their GP, they have seen a gastroenterologist and have tried different types of medication or lifestyle changes,’ Dr Hobson said.

‘But they are not looked at in terms of their whole gut.

‘What we aim to show through this test is how the whole gut is working so things can be targeted more effectively.

‘There are a range of different drugs to treat each part of the gut. This detailed information will hopefully help target therapy more accurately.’

Elizabeth Lynch, from Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, has suffered from bloating, pain and other problems for more than 10 years and is thought to be the first UK patient to try the pill.

She said: ‘I felt full up as soon as I began to eat and I would swell up quickly. It was as if you had a solid brick inside you and a tight belt around you.

‘The pain was awful and I simply could not lead a normal life. It was impossible to eat normally.’

The SmartPill was able to rule out a range of potential problems of gut transit and helped doctors identify that Ms Lynch was suffering from an allergy or food intolerance type of condition.

‘What it showed was that my system was working within the normal range and that gave a clue about a new form of treatment which has helped me a great deal,’ she said.

‘I am now feeling a lot better and it meant I didn’t have to undergo another unpleasant endoscopy investigation.’

The SmartPill GI Monitoring System at the Princess Grace costs £1,750, including all consultation fees.

Read more: Daily Mail Health

Embarrassing Fat Bodies: Toilet Troubles – Smart Pill Stunt

See more at: Channel 4 Embarassing Illnesses

smart pillOur My Healthchecker tests suggest that lorry drivers are amongst the least healthy of all professions. With that in mind, Dr Dawn went to meet three typical truckers. A quick diagnosis of their diets was not good, with truck stop takeaways and chocolate bars dominating the menu.

Dr Dawn convinces our three volunteers to swallow an electronic transmitter pill, allowing us a rare insight into bowel function. It seems that the truckers are causing themselves problems with their high fat, high sugar processed diets. Heartburn, acid reflux, flatulence and bloating are all recorded, with Dawn also concerned that the conditions inside our truckers’ guts might be putting them at increased risk of bowel cancer. The advice? Swap the chocolate and processed food for fresh fruit and veg.

The Embarrassing Fat Bodies team would like to thank:

Neurogastroenterology Diagnostic Centre

Alimentary Innervations
DR Anthony Hobson – Consultant Clinical Scientist

Leicester Heavy Haulage

Food Hospital Series 2

smart pillDr Anthony Hobson took part in Food Hospital series 2. You can watch full episode here.

Welcome to Functional Gut Clinic

The Functional Gut Clinic is the UK’s first dedicated, independent GI Physiology service. Our core interest is to use state of the art technology to try and understand how your gut is functioning and to identify what is causing your troublesome symptoms.

The information that we gain helps you and your Doctor identify the exact problem and in turn this helps to develop a targeted therapeutic strategy based on the best available science and evidence.

In addition to diagnostics, we now provide support services such as dietetics and bowel re-training therapy to assist in your treatment. The Functional Gut Clinic is the only UKAS accredited GI Physiology service in the UK guaranteeing that the service we offer is of the highest standard and constantly improving.