Colin the Colon hits the road for The Science of Digestion

29th May 2024

Earlier this month, we teamed up with NHS Hull University Teaching Hospitals to take Colin the Inflatable Colon on the road on a very important mission. To help Hull (and surrounding areas) get to grips with their guts.

The Science of Digestion took over Hull Guildhall to give people a unique and rare opportunity – to learn all about the latest in gut health from the experts. Often, we don’t like to talk about our guts due to stigma, but it’s time for change. It’s time to give them a voice. We must all do our bit to learn more on how to look after our guts, so that they have a fighting chance to look after us.

What talks were on offer?

Attendees listened to expert talks and also had the chance to ask questions about all things digestion and of course, take a walk through the one and only Colin the Colin and diagnose his (many) diseases.

Expert talks that took place were:

  • Bowel symptoms – when to seek help
  • Can we prevent gut problems?
  • The inflamed gut
  • My liver is fatty – what can I do?

All to help our wonderful attendees learn more about their digestive systems – a fascinating yet complex part of the human body. Around 25ft of them, in fact. That’s a lot to get your head around!

What did you discover?

The experts helped to break down so much information into a digestible format and also addressed some of the many myths surrounding our guts.

Here are some of the things you learnt:

  • You are a superorganism! Made up of microbial cells, microbial genes, human cells and human genes.
  • The gut is where bacteria and the immune system meet.
  • A healthy gut will strengthen your immune system.
  • There are many influences on your gut microbiome. Some of which you can control (ie diet and exercise) and some of which you can’t (how you are born and your diet as a baby).

A drawing of Colin the Inflatable Colon, doing "thumbs up"

  • It’s important to take part in the national bowel screening program. If you’re over 50, this is every two years.
  • Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection and can occur in different parts of the digestive system.
  • The liver is the largest solid organ in your body.
  • Healthy eating and cutting down on alcohol helps to look after your liver and guts.
  • It’s vital to give your guts more attention. They’ve been misunderstood and underappreciated for decades. 

It’s crucial to seek medical advice for persistent gut symptoms or concerns

Always remember, a new, prolonged change in your bowel habit that has lasted for 4 weeks or more should always be discussed with your doctor.

Not sure where to start when it comes to checking your poo? Guts UK charity’s Poo-Torial will guide you through the colour, consistency and frequency of your poo.

What did you think to The Science of Digestion?

We absolutely love getting out on the road to meet you and help the UK get to grips with guts. Nobody should suffer in silence. Or alone. When the Guts UK roadshow comes to town, we empower people to seek help. But don’t just take it from us!

Here is what some of our Hull attendees thought to the Science of Digestion:

None of this would be possible without you. Thank you for championing our cause and helping us help the UK. Together, let’s get to grips with guts!

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