All posts tagged: gut health

Swallowable sensor unfurls in stomach to monitor gut health

Swallowable sensor unfurls in stomach to monitor gut health

This sensor could travel into the stomach to help diagnose gastrointestinal conditions Prostock-studio/Shutterstock A swallowable sensor can unfurl in the stomach, non-invasively recording nervous system signals to decipher a person’s digestion and gut health. The pill-size capsule contains a long, skinny sensor that expands to align with the stomach’s inside wall. In an experiment with pigs, the device accurately measured the electrical activity of stomach cells that control smooth muscle contractions to digest food. Ultimately, this device could help diagnose gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroparesis, or paralysis of the stomach, and chronic indigestion. “We have tools that are pretty good to measure our heart, but we don’t have great tools to measure the gastrointestinal tract,” says Giovanni Traverso at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He compares the innovation to an electrocardiogram, which tracks the heart’s electrical activity. No electrocardiogram equivalent exists for the gut, so doctors must implant electrodes via surgery or endoscopically insert electrodes through the body opening of a sedated patient, says Adam Gierlach, also at MIT and part of the research team. …

These Are The Best Times To Eat To Protect Your Gut Health, According To An Expert

These Are The Best Times To Eat To Protect Your Gut Health, According To An Expert

Over the past while, we have been learning more about how crucial good gut health is to our overall health. We now know that gut health is linked to stress, fatigue and reductions in productivity. When it comes to food, a varied diet is absolutely essential. However, it turns out that when we eat this varied diet is just as important and GP Dr Zoe Williams has advised that your daily routine plays a big part in your gut health. When is the best time to eat to protect gut health? Dr Williams said that protecting gut health starts right at the beginning of your day. She said: “When you first wake up, say at 7:00am on a weekday, get into the habit of drinking a large glass of water, maybe leave the glass next to your toothbrush so you remember.” This is because good hydration helps your gut function well and aids digestion by helping to break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. Basically, by having water first thing, you’re …

Adopting a low FODMAP diet relieves irritable bowel syndrome better than medicine

Adopting a low FODMAP diet relieves irritable bowel syndrome better than medicine

Cutting out some types of food – and eating more of others – could ease irritable bowel syndrome Aamulya/Getty Images Two kinds of diet seem to work better than taking medication in addressing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a trial has found. One diet was designed to be low in “FODMAPs”, a group of sugars and similar carbohydrates found in dairy, wheat and certain fruits and vegetables. The second was a less common approach used for IBS: an adapted low-carb diet that is high in fibre but low in all other kinds of carbohydrates, namely sugar and starch. In a randomised trial, both diets led to better improvements in symptoms than standard treatment with medicines after four weeks. IBS can cause a puzzling range of symptoms, including diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain, which can wax and wane over time. The root cause of the condition is unclear. The usual advice is to avoid common triggers, such as caffeine, alcohol or spicy food. People may also take symptomatic treatments, such as laxatives for constipation or medication …

AI can spot parasites in stool samples to help diagnose infections

AI can spot parasites in stool samples to help diagnose infections

AI can spot the parasites in stool samples Antti Suutala/ Lundin et al, 2024, PLOS NTDs, CC-BY 4.0 Artificial intelligence can spot parasitic worm eggs in human faecal samples – including those from parasite species missed when lab technologists use a microscope to study the same samples. The discovery suggests AI could help us better diagnose and treat parasitic worm infections across the globe. The World Health Organization estimates that almost one-quarter of the world’s population – or 1.5 billion people – are infected by parasitic worms living in their intestinal systems. The infections can lead to malnutrition, anaemia or stunted cognitive development. But diagnosis and treatment is often inaccessible because there are a limited number of experts trained to spot the infections. Johan Lundin at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and his colleagues wondered whether AI could help. “The method is primarily about enabling wider access to diagnosis of parasitic worm infections,” he says. The researchers trained and tested their AI system on about 1300 stool samples collected from school students in Kenya. The …

Editor’s Letter | HuffPost UK Life

Editor’s Letter | HuffPost UK Life

Diarrhoea. Bloating. Farts. How often are you pooing? What’s been going on with your gut lately? We love toilet talk — so much so that we have an entire series dedicated to poo: Regular. Seriously, us Brits are a nation of poo-talk avoiders — according to digestive system charity Guts UK, 58% of people are embarrassed to talk about their digestive condition or symptoms and 51% delay seeking advice for their symptoms for over six months. The result? Many of us are suffering in silence and even putting our health seriously at risk — all because of shame! That needs to change. For example, diarrhoea might not be your favourite topic at the dinner table, but research by IMODIUM®, GB’s leading anti-diarrhoea brand, actually found that a whopping 1 in 3 of us suffer from diarrhoea… So why aren’t we talking about it? By learning to dump your embarrassment and instead opting to listen to what your gut and poo are trying to let you know, not only could you end your discomfort, you could …

The 1 Common Treatment A Gut Doctor Would Never Have

The 1 Common Treatment A Gut Doctor Would Never Have

There are many mistakes most of us know to avoid when it comes to our gut. Avoiding fibre, not drinking enough water, and steering clear of probiotics can all seriously harm your microbiome ― so many of us are actively trying to improve those factors. But what about when a biome-busting treatment comes straight from the doctor’s office? In a recent TikTok, Dr. Karan Raj, who’s known for sharing his medical knowledge on the app, Sittched a video of someone getting colonic irrigation. “If you want to be tortured by a jet of water being fed into your butthole by a plastic pipe and pay for the pleasure of someone messing with your biological plumbing, that’s colonic hydrotherapy,” the doctor began his video (oof). Goodness gracious. What’s his beef?! It’s a strong opener ― but then again, it’s in reaction to a pretty extreme exit (teehee). And it turns out the doctor’s unhappiness with the procedure kind of makes sense. After all, “being squirted with up to 60 litres of warm water up your exhaust …

Every Meal Should Have These Three Things, According To A Nutritionist

Every Meal Should Have These Three Things, According To A Nutritionist

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and co-founder of the health app ZOE, has spoken on his Instagram this week about the three principles he keeps in mind when making a meal to ensure that he’s looking after his gut. Spector is a huge advocate for gut health. Back in 2022, he spoke to The Guardian about why he’s on a mission to inform people about nutrition, he said: “Once people start seeing that there is this link between the food we eat, our microbes and our immune systems, I think that changes the way we think about food. It’s not just fuel. It really is changing the way our body works.” Now, in the recent video, he highlights the things that he keeps in mind and what you should, too, when preparing a meal. What you should eat to protect your gut health Add plenty of polyphenols Prof Spector says that these are: “a type of defence chemical in plants which gives them their bright colour and bitter taste”. As …

Early drug treatment leads to better outcomes for Crohn’s disease

Early drug treatment leads to better outcomes for Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease can cause stomach aches, diarrhoea and weight loss Jacob Wackerhausen/iStockphoto/Getty Images/www.peopleimages.com Getting advanced treatment immediately after a Crohn’s disease diagnosis improves patient outcomes, according to a year-long study involving 386 people. The disease is a life-long inflammatory bowel condition that affects millions of people around the world. Symptoms include stomach aches, diarrhoea, tiredness and weight loss. “These symptoms massively impact people’s quality of life, their education, their relationships, their ability to work and so on,” says Miles Parkes at the University of Cambridge. “We don’t have any cures for it, but we do have some ways to mitigate some of these bad outcomes.” Treatment often involves dietary changes, immunosuppressants and steroids. In the UK, a medication called infliximab – an antibody that targets specific proteins in the body thought to contribute to gut inflammation – can be prescribed to people who experience regular Crohn’s disease flare-ups or who haven’t responded to other, less-intense treatments. “That’s a ‘step-up’ approach, where you reactively escalate treatment in response to disease flares,” says Nurulamin Noor, also at …