Guts UK is very proud to be funding research aiming to earlier diagnose oesophageal cancer using just a bag of breath! This research is being lead by Prof. George Hanna at Imperial College London, who...
28th November 2023
16th May 2022
On World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day every year (19th May), patient organisations come together from all over the globe to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease & colitis.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases are a group of digestive conditions that are characterised by chronic inflammation of the digestive system. These include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and microscopic colitis.
As different forms of IBD can affect different parts of the digestive system, symptoms can differ from person to person.
Crohn’s disease is where inflammation develops in various parts of the gut, anywhere from the mouth to the anus can be affected. It is thought that this develops because the gut disease fighting system (immune system) reacts abnormally to bacteria at the surface of the gut. Genes are thought to play a part too, as are environmental factors.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
1 in 4 of those diagnosed are under 18 years of age, and around 1 in 650 people have Crohn’s disease.
The term ‘colitis’ means the large bowel has become inflamed (swollen) and if this becomes severe enough, ulcers (painful sores) can form in the lining of the large bowel. Ulcerative colitis usually affects the rectum, but can involve varying parts of the bowel. Like Crohn’s disease, most doctors now think ulcerative colitis is linked to how patients react to harmless ‘friendly’ bacteria that everyone has in their large bowel.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:
The peak age of incidence is between 15-25 years old and a smaller peak amongst 55-65 year olds. Ulcerative colitis is thought to affect around 1 in 420 people.
Diagnosing microscopic colitis can be different to diagnosing Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This is because when doctors look at your gut with a camera (endoscope), microscopic colitis cannot be seen. The poo test often used for IBD (faecal calprotectin) may not identify microscopic colitis. A sample of tissue (biopsy) has to be taken from the bowel and looked at under a microscope, hence the name ‘microscopic’ colitis.
Symptoms of microscopic colitis include:
There are 17,000 new cases of microscopic colitis diagnosed each year, though the real number is thought to be much higher. Most of those with microscopic colitis are women, diagnosed between 50-70 years old.
Guts UK funds research into the digestive system from top to tail; the gut, liver and pancreas. We also provide expert information in digestive conditions and raise awareness of digestive health. There’s a crippling taboo surrounding our guts. No one should suffer in silence, or alone with their symptoms.
Discover some of our latest IBD research projects below:
Professor Graham Lord and his team are hoping to expand knowledge surrounding immune cells, known as T cells. There are two types of T cells, and scientists suspect that the balance between these cells is important to determine whether a person develops Crohn’s disease.
Professor Christer Hogstrand and his team are exploring ‘leaky gut syndrome’ with IBD. We all have cells on the inside layer of our bowel. These cells are tightly bonded together as a seal to act as a barrier against harmful bacteria or other harmful agents. Unfortunately, with ‘leaky gut’ syndrome these tight bonds become looser and the bowel becomes more porous (meaning liquid can pass through easier). Prof. Hogstrand and his team hope to fully understand how these tight bonds in the bowel develop, this research could lead to a new way to control and prevent ‘leaky gut’.
28th November 2023
At Guts UK, some members of our community rely on prescription pancreatic enzymes (Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy, PERT) to help them properly digest the food they eat. When your pancreas doesn’t produce enough enzymes to...
28th November 2023
Guts UK has three charitable objectives: Provide expert information to patients Raise awareness of digestive health Fund research into the digestive system from top to tail; the gut, liver and pancreas How every £1 you...
1st November 2023
This week (2nd-8th October) is the World’s First Diverticular Disease Awareness Week! Have you heard of it? Diverticular disease affects 1 in 3, increasing to 1 in 2 people during their lifetime. Diverticula are permanent...
2nd October 2023