Taking care of our guts during Covid-19

27 April 2020

Our guts dictate many aspects of our health – from our weight and energy levels, to our mood and mental health. Yet most people don’t fully understand their own gut and how it affects them.

With healthcare services stretched due to Covid-19, people with digestive issues are turning to charities like Guts UK to get the support they need.

Natalie says, “Life has changed so much over the past few months, I’m even starting a new job for a company that specialises in stoma bags! I’ve pledged to take on 12 runs over 12 months, with Guts UK as one of my chosen charities. The team at Guts UK have been so friendly and supportive, so I’m delighted to run for a cause so close to my heart!”

Three years ago I had my gallbladder removed. For a long time after that, I had painful symptoms that I thought were just normal after gallbladder surgery. It was such a relief to find Guts UK’s information online, read other people’s stories and realise I wasn’t alone. With their support, I’ve now been diagnosed with Bile Acid Malabsorption and I’m taking medication which has eased my symptoms massively.”

Living with IBS

With one in 10 people in the UK having IBS, chances are either you or someone you know experiences it. For some, IBS can be mildly discomforting but for others, like Nikki, it can be debilitating.

Nikki says, “Living with IBS is a constant battle; a battle that can leave you frustrated and often feeling exhausted. IBS doesn’t have an end, not really. It’s always there, lingering over your shoulder, waiting for the next opportunity to pounce.”

“But thanks to Guts UK, I’ve grown much more aware of healthy eating, the importance of exercise and the benefits of looking after my mind. I’ve developed a real love for home-cooking, experimenting with new recipes and sharing the IBS-friendlthrouy food I make with friends and family.”

Supporting people through the coronavirus

The Guts UK team are busier than ever during the pandemic, serving the community with important updates and information on how coronavirus can affect people with digestive disorders.

One Guts UK patient said: “Thank you so much for your supportive and helpful letter. It was such a relief to have someone actually take me seriously. I have been very worried, but you have given me a way forward. I’m now getting referred to a very good gastroenterological consultant and I feel empowered and positive.

Another said: “Thanks so much for taking the time to send such detailed and helpful information – it means the world to me that you have taken the time to explain so much.”

A safe space to talk

Talking about digestive health can be embarrassing. For many, the symptoms – abdominal pain, bloating, wind and flatulence, a change in bowel habits – are difficult to discuss.

Guts UK allows people to talk freely and openly about their guts, providing them with expert, evidence-based information so that they can get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Guts UK

Guts UK’s mission is to provide people with expert advice, raise awareness of digestive health and transform the landscape for research into our digestive system.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the current lockdown, Guts UK are determined to make a very real difference to the lives of those affected by disorders of the gut, liver and pancreas. They are making sure that vital research continues to enable earlier diagnosis, kinder treatments and the possibility of a cure for future generations.

Find out more

For more information on digestive health or Guts UK, please visit www.gutscharity.org.uk or contact Guts UK by calling 01484 483123 or emailing info@gutscharity.org.uk