Stamping out the stigma surrounding our guts

6th March 2023

Guts. We all have them, around 25ft of them. But we don’t like to talk about them, so when something goes wrong, we don’t know where to turn to get help.

Collaboration is key:

Guts UK and Imodium® have joined forces for the first time in 2023 to tackle the stigma around gut health and diarrhoea. Combined, we have over 100 years of expertise in gut health. Imodium® is an over-the-counter medication used to relieve diarrhoea, containing loperamide, which helps to gently slow the digestive system back into a normal rhythm.

Together, we’re raising awareness of better gut health and how this links back to your overall health and wellbeing.

Diarrhoea – don’t struggle through:

Tiegan has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and can get diarrhoea on a weekly basis. Read her full story here.

“When I have flare-ups, I find heat is my best friend. A hot water bottle is so comforting and soothing, and eases cramping pains too. When I feel that my gut really isn’t going to be my friend today, and I know I’ve got a busy day ahead that involves leaving the house, I’ll take loperamide. Especially if I know where I’m going has limited toilet access. It’s a comfort to know I’ve done all I can to prepare myself for the day.” – Tiegan.

How we’re working together:

Imodium and Guts UK advert on the back of a public toilet doorImodium’s research found that 1 in 10 people globally suffer with diarrhoea frequently, and Guts UK’s research found that 51% of people delay seeking advice for their digestive symptoms for over six months. We want to encourage people to talk about their guts and seek help. You’re not alone.

On toilet doors across the country, we’ll be raising awareness or diarrhoea and gut health, and in pharmacies too. You may spot us in Men’s Health and Women’s Health, and magazines for pharmacists too.

Imodium® are donating £20,000 to Guts UK Charity. With this generosity, Guts UK can reach and help more people than ever before. We’re empowering people to seek help, and not suffer in silence.

James's Story - The gut & brain can overshare:

James has IBS with a mixture of constipation and diarrhoea. Read his experiences here.

“I find that stress can worsen my symptoms, whether this is my gut and brain talking (or simply the fact that I eat ‘rubbish’ when I’m stressed and don’t sleep well!) This is why self-reflection really helps for me, because I do believe my mood and emotional wellness has a massive impact on my IBS” – James.

Rahul's Story - it's important to talk about our guts:

Rahul has IBS and can remember trying to ignore his stomach cramps when he was at school, trying to hide the fact that he was in pain. Read Rahul’s journey here.

“One thing I struggle with is being self-conscious when my symptoms are worse, like when I have bad bloating or fart in public. There is stigma around discussing gut health, and many people believe it’s too gross to talk about. I hope that as a society, we can discuss gut health more openly. Hearing other people talk about their experiences helped me so much when I was struggling to understand and accept my own illnesses.” – Rahul.

Resources that can help:

If you’ve had a sudden change in bowel habits for four weeks or more, contact your GP. If you’ve had diarrhoea for longer than four weeks, contact your GP and read more on our online poo checker, Poo-Torial. If you suspect food poisoning, most people’s symptoms resolve in five to 10 days. If they do not, or the poo changes to a red colour, or you have severe and constant abdominal pains with a high fever, you should contact your doctor.

Discover more:

Johnson & Johnson Limited will donate £20,000 to Guts UK Charity (1137029) in relation to this 2023 charitable campaign and are working collaboratively with the charity to raise awareness, including creation of a media campaign and patient education materials.

IMODIUM® Instants contain loperamide hydrochloride. For acute diarrhoea (aged 12+) and for medically diagnosed IBS diarrhoea (aged 18+). IMODIUM® Dual Action Relief Tablets. For acute diarrhoea and its gas-related symptoms (aged 12+). Always read the label.

For more information about how Guts UK works with the pharmaceutical industry, click here.

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