Diarrhoea & IBS | A Quick Guide with Dr Christian Jessen

Author: Imodium UK

14772 Diarrhoea Short Editorial Version H: Lis Speight, Host A: Dr Christian Jessen, Health Expert B: Jackie Bell, a patient with personal experience of the problem H: Hello and welcome to the show, I’m Lis Speight. Now it’s a subject that most of us don’t what to discuss although about 20 million adults in the UK will have suffered from diarrhoea in the past 6 months. The most surprising thing is that nearly two thirds of suffers don’t treat their symptoms. Well I’m joined today by health expert Dr Christian Jessen and Jackie Bell, a patient with personal experience of the problem. Thanks to you both for coming in.

A + B: Thank you H: Now let’s start off by talking a little bit about what exactly diarrhoea is. We all know what it is but what causes it, what is your body doing? A: What’s going on, it’s actually very simple. You have muscles in your gut wall that push to poo along. If they do this too fast and become too excited obviously they push everything through too quickly and that’s one of the causes. The other cause really and the reason why we have such long guts is that they extract water from your poo. They reabsorb it, that’s what makes the poo more solid.

If that’s not being done, for instance if the poo is moving through too quickly and the water is remaining you can see that then they are going to remain more liquidy, more loose and that again is the cause of diarrhoea. H: So your gut’s not happy then, it’s sort of over reacting really. What causes diarrhoea, we know the sort of bugs and things but there lots of different causes aren’t there? A: There’s a whole host of causes actually but more acutely, apart from bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, I’d say what you and I are more likely to suffer from is stress related and anxiety related causes. So when you get nervous it has an affect on your gut and can give you diarrhoea. It’s well known that spicy foods, curries can cause diarrhoea. Alcohol can cause diarrhoea. We know that some women before their periods can also, because of changing hormones levels, suffer from diarrhoea as well. So those are probably the more common things.

H: Ok, let’s bring Jackie in here. Tell us a little bit about your story, when did you first start suffering? B: I started about 10 years ago and I noticed it was sort of stress related. I couldn’t put my finger on any food that would set it off and it became a bit embarrassing. I went to the pharmacy and they gave me some pills which seemed to work and what happens now if I’m at home I can cope with it quite easily, I get these terrible cramping pains, it feels like I have been punched from inside but if I’m out in company and if it happens I take a pill and that relieves the symptoms. H: So you are managing your condition really well. B: Yes. H: So Christian, tell us a little bit about the treatments available out there.

Diarrhoea & IBS | A Quick Guide with Dr Christian Jessen

A: Well, divide them basically into two types. There’s rehydration and this is probably key, dehydration is very common when you have diarrhoea because you are loosing fluids so the most important thing is either drink plenty of water or juice or what ever liquid you prefer, tea is fine. Oral rehydration solution is also available, which is a sort of mixture of salt and sugar, that’s probably for more serious, chronic diarrhoea. The other form is symptomatic relief, so an over the counter medication like Loperamide, for instance and just help calm the gut down, slow the gut down, help increase water re-absorption from the cut so the stools are not so loose and that I think you take and it has help relive the symptoms. B: Absolutely. A: So really that’s the main stay of treatment. H: But there is a bit of a myth about not treating diarrhoea because people are worried it’s going to bung them up and keep any bugs in there.

What would you say about that? A: I’d say it’s partly true and partly false, I think if you have a nasty bacterially cause Campylobacter bacteria salmonella and your getting high fevers cramps and blood and mucus then absolutely yes, it’s best to seek medical advice because you may actually need antibiotics but for the majority of us with your basics of anxiety driven diarrhoea, that’s absolute nonsense it will help you get on with your life and help you leave the bathroom if you do treat it. So I would advise it. H: Ok Christian wise words there very reassuring. Jackie thanks so much for coming in and Christian for all your advice. H: Thanks for watching and will see you next time, bye bye.

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Diarrhoea & IBS | A Quick Guide with Dr Christian Jessen

14772 Diarrhoea Short Editorial Version H: Lis Speight, Host A: Dr Christian Jessen, Health Expert B: Jackie Bell, a patient with personal experience of the problem H: Hello and welcome…

By: Imodium UK