Bowel & gut care

Introduction

Gastroenterologists study the physiopathology of the gastrointestinal organs. This includes how food is moving through the stomach and intestines and how nutrients are digested and absorbed. They also look at how waste is removed from the body and the normal function of the liver. 

During your consultation, our specialist bowel and cut care consultants  will discuss your concern and appropriate treatment with you. 

Ready to book now? Get in touch to discuss your needs and decide on the best course of treatment for you.

Ready to book now? Get in touch to discuss your needs and decide on the best course of treatment for you.

What is gut health?

Gut is another word for the gastrointestinal or digestive tract, which starts at your mouth and ends at your rectum.  

Gut health refers to the overall health of your digestive tract. It is a term that’s become widely used over the last couple of decades as more research has been done into what constitutes a healthy gut, and how the wellbeing of your gut affects your health overall.  

The gut is very complex, and there are various scientific opinions on what the definition of gut health should be. However, in general parlance, gut health is used to refer to the balance of microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. This is also known as your gut microbiome. 

How do I know if I have an unhealthy gut?

An unhealthy or unbalanced gut can show itself in many ways. If you have concerns, you should speak to your GP who will help to diagnose you, as well as giving tailored advice.  

Some symptoms that can be a sign of poor gut health include: 

  • An upset stomach or changes in your bowel movements 
  • Gas or bloating 
  • Tiredness and problems sleeping 
  • Skin problems 
  • Food sensitivity 

 These things can all cause abdominal pain, dysphagia, chronic stomach ache, stomach ulcers, heartburn/acid reflux and polyps.  

Common bowel and gut conditions

Abdominal pain

People with functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders can have a variety of symptoms that range from painless diarrhoea or constipation, to pain associated with diarrhoea and/or constipation (usually called irritable bowel syndrome).

Dysphagia

Dysphagia is the medical term used to describe difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia includes difficulty starting a swallow (called oropharyngeal dysphagia) and the sensation of food being stuck in the neck or chest (called oesophageal dysphagia). 

Stomach ulcers

Most of the time when a gastroenterologist is referring to an ulcer, the doctor means a peptic ulcer. The two most common types of peptic ulcer are called gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. These names refer to the location where the ulcer is found. Gastric ulcers are located in the stomach.  

Heartburn/acid reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your oesophagus relaxes at the wrong time, allowing stomach acid to back up into your oesophagus. This can cause heartburn and other signs and symptoms. Frequent or constant reflux can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

polyps

Polyps are  benign growths  (noncancerous tumours or neoplasms) involving the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. They can occur in several locations but are most common in the colon. They vary in size from less than a quarter of an inch to several inches in diameter. 

How can I keep my gut healthy?

You can focus on making healthy lifestyle changes and eating healthy whole foods to improve your gut health – and in turn the wellbeing of your whole body. Healthy, whole foods feed the good bacteria in your gut. Most people eat too little fibre which can be  found in wholegrains, nuts, pulses, fruit and vegetables. 

How do I know if I have an unhealthy bowel?

Changes in your bowel habits can cause unintentional weight loss, blood in your stools and chronic diarrhoea.  If you experience these symptoms, you should speak to your GP as soon as possible. 

Inflammatory bowl disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to inflammation of the gut. It includes the conditions Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms to be aware of are diarrhoea, abdominal pain and weight loss. Whilst anyone can be affected, it usually occurs between the ages of 15 to 40. 

Crohn’s ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is an inflammation of the lower part of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract, usually beginning in the rectum (where faeces are stored) and colon (large intestine). It’s one of the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease (the other is  Crohn’s disease). Ulcerative colitis tends to start in young people and can lead to diarrhoea, stomach cramping and other symptoms. 

Crohn's disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people 

Diagnosing and treating bowel and gut conditions

Endoscopy

Gastrointestinal issues can cause pain and discomfort, ranging from moderate to severe. To understand your specific condition,  gastroenterologists can use a range of methods to examine your digestive tract including an endoscopy, gastroscopy and colonoscopy. 

An endoscopy is a procedure examining the inside of your body using an instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, thin flexible tube with a light source and video camera at the end. An endoscopy can be used as a diagnostic procedure to investigate symptoms, take tissue samples or carry out various therapeutic procedures.  

Depending on what type of procedure you’re having, the endoscope can be inserted into your body through your mouth or anus. The name of the procedure you have depends on which part of your body is examined. 

We offer a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures including gastroscopy and colonoscopy. 

Available procedures

Looking to fast track your treatment?

Our consultants

Dr Maxwell Asante
Dr Maxwell Asante
Consultant Gastroenterologist
MBChB, FRCP, PhD (Med)
Dr Sergio Coda
Dr Sergio Coda
Consultant Gastroenterologist
MD PhD
Dr Abhinav (Abs) Gupta
Dr Abhinav (Abs) Gupta
Consultant Gastroenterologist
BSc (Hons), MBBS, MRCP
Mr Adarsh Kumar
Mr Adarsh Kumar
Colorectal Consultant
MBBS MS FRCS DM FRCS (Gen Surg), CCST (UK)
Dr Mayur Kumar
Dr Mayur Kumar
Consultant Gastroenterologist
MBBS, MRCP (Gastro), FRCP
Dr Aathavan Loganayagam
Dr Aathavan Loganayagam
Consultant Gastroenterologist and Endoscopist
MB, BS, BSc, MRCP
Dr Konstantinos Mantzoukis
Dr Konstantinos Mantzoukis
Consultant Gastroenterologist
 
Dr Evangelos Russo
Dr Evangelos Russo
Consultant Gastroenterologist
PhD, MRCP
Dr Vinay Sehgal
Dr Vinay Sehgal
Gastroenterologist and Interventional Endoscopist
MBChB, MRCP, PhD

Ways to pay

Paying for yourself

Healthshare provides access to the highest quality care giving you the opportunity to access the very best treatment, facilities and consultants. Healthcare the way you want it, when you need it.

Spread the cost

A fixed term loan, provided by our partners Chrysalis Finance, will allow you to spread the cost of treatment and allow you to pay in monthly instalments over a time period to suit you.

Medical insurance

If you have private medical insurance you can get referred to a Healthshare Clinic for the very best treatment. Contact your insurance provider to pre-authorise your treatment today.

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