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Q&A on digestive health with Dr Sarah Brewer

(47 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 04-Mar-10 12:33:33

Hello. Have you got any questions about digestive health, digestive discomfort, probiotics, bloating, IBS? Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and author, can answer all your questions about these issues - and more.

Dr Brewer is following this thread from today until March 11. Please post your questions here any time from now until then, and we'll post up Dr Brewer's answers a week or so later.

This Q&A is sponsored by the yoghurt brand Activia.

cyb Thu 04-Mar-10 17:03:00

OOh I'll go first (and can't be bothered to name change)

Sometimes my lower guts ,for the want of a better word, make the strangest noises.

We're not talking farts but deep, almost mewling sounds that are loud enough to hear by me and those around me.

Tis quite embarrassing. They do feel like they are coming from quite low down.

Any suggestions?

<oh! the shame!>

cocolepew Thu 04-Mar-10 17:05:44

Hi, what's the best thing for constipation? Obviously I'm asking for a friend <ahem>

cyb Thu 04-Mar-10 17:07:15

ooh get us and our bowels

cocolepew Thu 04-Mar-10 17:09:43

Oh I have another... my DH has diarrohea ^all the time^, he's been investigated but there's nothing untoward been found. It's not anything in particular that sets it off (apart from fatty food) but everytime he goes it's runny. He doesn't lose weight or has to run to the loo all the time in desperation, but can go up to 4 times daily.

cocolepew Thu 04-Mar-10 17:10:20

My friends cyb, my friends.

elliedodger Thu 04-Mar-10 17:12:50

I suffer with bloating and constipation due to IBS. Unless I have a stressful event coming up, in which case I have diarrhoea. I know that conventional advice is to increase fibre intake but that just makes my stomach unsettled and bloated.

Peppermint tea makes no difference whatsoever.

Can you give me any other advice?
Thanks

Shitemum Thu 04-Mar-10 17:41:16

I followed a programme (Robert Gray) and diet to get rid of candida in the gut a few years back.
At the time, and since then, I saw references (and tmi photos) to build-up of solidified mucus or 'impacted matter' on the walls of the large intestine.

Advocates and practitioners of colonic cleansing all swear that we carry around various pounds of this stuff for years while there are also plenty of others, usually doctors, who says it is nonsense and they have never seen it in any autopsy etc. etc.

This leads me to wonder if the strange, ropey gunk that comes out when doing a proper, long-term cleanse is simply caused by the physillium seeds, or some other ingredient of the cleansing 'formulas' avaliable on the market, to make us think they are really effective or if this 'build-up' really exists.

So, does it or does it not?

Never has my username been more apt! grin

herbietea Thu 04-Mar-10 17:55:11

Message withdrawn

Shitemum Thu 04-Mar-10 18:21:09

{Actually sorry, but I think Actimel and similar products are a gimmick and the sugar in them doesn't do you any good. It feeds the 'bad bacteria' in your gut making things worse. Plain unsweetened yoghurt and a good quality acidopholous is better IMO}

MudandRoses Thu 04-Mar-10 18:43:34

I am suffering from upper stomach pain which I identify as acid indigestion, and am 12 wks pregnant. I've had it for the last 6 wks. I am on Omeprazole and it is helping but my doctor says my stomach will soon get used to it and start producing even more acid, which may mean I have even worse indigestion/reflux when I stop taking it. Should I continue? Is it usual to have this condition appear/worsen immediately in pregnancy? The pain (in my stomach and osophagus) was really bad before I started the pills, and I was surviving on bananas and oat crackers...I am worried about stopping.

MudandRoses Thu 04-Mar-10 18:46:53

Oh, and cocolepew both my DH and DS (4) have similar bowel habits to what you describe - very loose runny poo, and in DS's case, some times full of (sorry TMI alert!) what look like pale fat globules. Both of them are very lanky and skinny (DH especially), despite eating well - are their digestive systems just not absorbing fat/nutrients? Should I be worried?

Saladdays Thu 04-Mar-10 19:20:22

I'm up for a bit of bowel banter.

My dd has times of constipation that when she poos they are as wide as her calf. She cries, I wince. Any advice? This seems to coincide with teething??

I've been having twitching in my bowels that feels like a baby kicking - but I'm not pg. Wierd. Any ideas what it is?

FabIsDoingPrettyWell Thu 04-Mar-10 19:28:37

I have been tested for coeliac disease and it was negative. Months ago the GP suggested IBS. My problem is if I eat toast for breakfast pretty much straight away I need to use the bathroom. Yesterday I had a home made cheese tart and same thing. I look pregnant but I am 2 stone overweight. Just fed up with it all.

cocolepew Thu 04-Mar-10 19:43:46

Fab it could be wheat annoying you, I've had IBS for years and years and sometimes I need to cut back on the wheat (or maybe gluten?). Potatoes and certain makes of peas bloat me up a lot.

cyb Thu 04-Mar-10 19:51:14

Do you think we all might get prescribed with a case of Actima?

cocolepew Thu 04-Mar-10 19:54:28

Actima gives my mum and DH heartburn, I'll take the cash equivalent, thanks.

NorbertDentressangle Thu 04-Mar-10 19:59:48

Can IBS give similar symptoms to gall bladder problems ie. pain high up under the ribs and around to the mid back area lasting a day or two and then disappear again for a few months? (no change in bowel habits or irregularities during these episodes or any other time).

If so, how do you go about identifying what triggers it when nothing obvious springs to mind?

shhkeepitquiet Thu 04-Mar-10 20:16:17

testing name change

rubyslippers Thu 04-Mar-10 20:19:15

I have ulcerative colitis - have been told that there is nothing i can do except live with it - i am lucky in that it is fairly localised and not too severe i guess

would any dietary changes make any difference?

I am worried about my children having bowel issues - DD is 20 weeks old, EBF and her poos are permanently green and frothy so i am worried that she may have an issue

I am waiting for the results of a stool sample, but i can't help worrying - is colitis/crohns etc hereditary?

thanks

shhkeepitquiet Thu 04-Mar-10 20:21:13

ok it's about dh hence the name change. I am quite identifiable with my usual name.

Dh is diagnosed coeliac since a young baby (18 months). Apart from a couple of years in his teens (he is now in his 40s) he is very vigilant re his diet.

However his bowel habit is quite inconvenient and embarrassing at times. In the morning afaik he needs to use the loo around twice on a "normal" day. If we are on holiday, or he has eaten a large (gluten free breakfast) he will rush to the loo maybe 3-4 times. Then through the course of the morning and again after lunch he often has the urgency and need to go often several more times.

He has been checked out by a gastronenterologist (sp?) and NAD.

I think part (but not all) is slightly due to anxiety, i.e. on occasion he has unfortunately had accidents and understandably this make him feel the urgency even more.

I have suggested that at real times of pressure (e.g. if on holiday and going out for the morning) he could take imodium or equivalent - would this be ok?

Also, is it possible/likely that is bowel/muscles were damaged as he was so unwell when a small baby and this has continued? He was very malnourished and unwell as a small baby until diagnosis.

Thank you.

norksinmywaistband Thu 04-Mar-10 20:21:52

DD has been on 10ml daily lactulose for a year now, she still only passes a stool every 3 days which are very large and sometimes cause her pain. Any increase in the dose and she leaks. any less and she is agony.
Should I be seeking further assessment for other meds for her or leave her on the lactulose.
She has also been told by the dentist she has cavities and is awaiting treatment - do you think this could be linked?
She is 5

norksinmywaistband Thu 04-Mar-10 20:26:22

Also second issue blush is mine.
I have been told I have IBS. Urgently have to use every morning for a loose stool, get some bloating especially in the evenings.
My main problem however is travel - If I go more than 20 miles from home my bowels are terrible. constant diahorrea until I get home - even if just visiting family. It is a laughing joke that I can't take a change in the water. Is there a logical explanation?

moondog Thu 04-Mar-10 21:03:25

This Q&A is sponsored by the yoghurt brand Activia.
This Q&A is sponsored by the yoghurt brand Activia.
This Q&A is sponsored by the yoghurt brand Activia.
This Q&A is sponsored by the yoghurt brand Activia.

Nuff said.

The peopel who would have you beleive their nasty overpriced yoghurts cure all eveils.

moondog Thu 04-Mar-10 21:04:53

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

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