Ask Nick

I am medical adviser to The Gut Trust, a national charity devoted to the support of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and their carers. In that capacity, I regularly answer letters from patients. Here is a sample of the kind of issues that patients write in about and my responses.

Stress-related IBS?

In the past year I’ve developed IBS. After forcing down some breakfast I feel sick and bloated for the rest of the day. I think I’m hungry but because of the abdominal discomfort, my body can’t sense it.

Read the patient's letter and my response »

IBS, recurrent dyspepsia or gastritis caused by emotional tension?

I have been suffering with gastro problems for about 4 years, after prolonged usage of Ibuprofen. The symptoms start with mild discomfort and nausea. Then I feel full and very sick. When my stomach is empty I have severe pain that goes through to my back. When my symptoms are bad, I can’t bear to be touched.
I was diagnosed about a year ago with IBS, but I feel the doctors diagnosed this because they couldn’t identify anything else.

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Will IBS affect my pregnancy?

I would like to have another child, but have recently been diagnosed with IBS – will it cause problems trying to get pregnant? What effect could IBS and pregnancy have?

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Problems emptying my bowels: recurrence of childhood symptoms

When I was a child, I used to have a lot of problems emptying my bowels. Now, at the age of 54, the problems are back: Often I can go to the loo in the early morning (4 to 5 am), but after about an hour I get a dull ache across the groin I feel like I haven’t been at all. I try to keep a sensible diet, I have had various tests and tried accupuncture and visitied a nutritionist but nothing yet has helped.

Read the patient's letter and my response »