Guts UK and Imodium® partnership: Supporting patients’ gut health with 100 combined years of expertise

imodium_guts_uk_academy_1024x350__04

Across the UK, people are suffering due to the lack of knowledge about their guts. That’s why Imodium® have partnered with Guts UK charity, a non-profit charity who provide expert information to patients and their families, fund research, and raise awareness of digestive conditions. Together, on a mission to provide people with a better understanding of their guts and dispel common gut health myths.

As healthcare professionals, you play a vital role in providing patients with information, support, and advice when it comes to their gut health. So, it’s important to make sure the information you’re conveying to patients is accurate and reliable.

Read on to discover more about the Guts UK and Imodium® partnership, and how our key findings can help you support patients to make better informed decisions about their gut health.

 

The rise of gut health myths and misinformation

We conducted a survey of 2,000 people in the to better understand and support people struggling with digestive health symptoms. We found that almost one quarter of Brits turn to unqualified social media influencers for health advice. Young people seem to be the most susceptible to this. In fact, nearly one in three respondents (29%) aged 18-24 admitted to taking advice from medically unqualified influencers across platforms such as TikTok1.

 

The 5 most common misconceptions

When we asked respondents what they know about digestive health, many seemed to believe in common misconceptions found online. The five most common were 1

  1. Over two-fifths don’t realise stress can have a negative impact on gut health (41%).
  2. Almost half don’t realise regular exercise can improve gut health (47%).
  3. More than half don’t realise that overeating is bad for gut health (54%).
  4. Almost half don’t realise avoiding processed foods and added sugar is important for gut health (47%).
  5. Almost half don’t realise eating food slowly can aid digestion (47%).

While it’s unclear why Brits are willing to risk following unreliable health information, one third of respondents (33%) said they feel embarrassed to talk about their digestive health symptoms almost two thirds (64%) wish they had more support to understand their gut health1

But this is where HCPs can help, by making sure your patients have access to the most clear and reliable information. Guts UK has a range of evidence-based resources and patient leaflets to help support you with this.

 

Helping to dispel gut health myths with your patients

There are many wide-spread myths and misconceptions out there about gut health. So, for patients who are looking for support, it can be confusing. As experts in the field, clearing up myths and conveying accurate information is essential for promoting optimal gut heath and ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients.

 

Here are some areas you might want to consider for future consultations:

1. The link between stress and gut health

People may often believe that stress only has a mental impact. However, stress can physically affect our body too — particularly the digestive system2.

When the body feels stressed, the brain’s stress response system can affect the movement of the Gl tract, resulting in symptoms like diarrhoea, nausea, and constipation2. Therefore, patients who experience high levels of stress and anxiety may be prone to gut health issues.3,4

Offering patients some basic lifestyle tips is a good place to start when it comes to managing stress and anxiety related gut health issues.3,4 These may include:

  • Relaxation techniques — Encourage patients to practice relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises.
  • Diet advice - Help patients understand that certain foods and drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, can increase anxiety levels.
  • Sleep hygiene - Encourage patients to prioritise sleep, so they feel rested and restored.6
  • Exercise — Encourage patients to release stress and tension through exercise.
  • Peer support - Ensure patients have a support network to turn to during times of stress.

 

2. The importance of checking bowel movements

There's a lot of taboo surrounding toilet habits, but your patient’s stool can tell you a lot about their health7. Therefore, it’s important to encourage patients to keep track of their bowel movements, as this can help to identify signs of any potential gut condition symptoms early on.

Key things to look out for include:

  • Stool frequency - It is considered normal to pass stool between three times a week to three times a day7. Anything outside of this window, may be cause for concern7.
  • Stool consistency - If your patients notice any significant changes in the consistency of their stool, for example, separate, hard lumps or mushy, watery stools, these could be indications of severe constipation or severe diarrhoea7.
  • Stool colour - Changes in stool colour may also require further investigation. For example stool that is yellow could be a sign of bile acid diarrhoea7.

Looking for an easy way to help your patients track their bowel movements? Try recommending the Gut2Know app for all-in-one gut health tracking.

 

3. Giving your patients a safe space to talk about their symptoms

According to Guts UK, 58% of people are embarrassed to talk about their digestive symptoms or conditions8.So, it’s important that we break down the stigma around bowel movements and gut health, to make your patients feel more comfortable during consultations.

Wondering how you can help? If a patient seems embarrassed or reluctant to discuss their symptoms over the counter, you could try using a consultation room for a more private conversation. Showcase your expertise with tips for symptom relief, so you can build trust with your patients. That way, they can feel more comfortable and confident talking to you in the future

 

Support your patients with Imodium®

For customers looking for effective diarrhoea relief, Imodium® are the UK’s number 1 brand9. You'll find a range of Imodium® (loperamide) products that can help provide your patients with relief from diarrhoea and associated symptoms within 1 hour. This includes the unique formula of Imodium® Dual Action which provides more complete and effective relief* from diarrhoea, bloating, wind and cramps.

Click here for product information

*vs. Loperamide alone. For claims verification please call 0808 238 9999.

 

Imodium® in collaboration with Guts UK: 100 combined years of expertise

Imodium® and Guts UK Charity (reg. charity no. 1137029) combined have 100 years of expertise. Johnson & Johnson Limited will donate £20,000 to Guts UK Charity in relation to this 2024 charitable campaign and are working collaboratively with the charity to raise awareness, including creation of a media campaign and patient education materials.

 

Looking for more patient tools?

Find more patient resources

 

References

  1. Imodium® via OnePoll, 2023. 2,000 UK Adults.
  2. https://www.med.unc.edu/ibs/wp-content/uploads/sites/450/2017/10/Stress-and-the-Gut.pdf
  3. Chang YM et al. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014;8(6):583-585.
  4. Chu B et al. Physiology, Stress Reaction. Stat Pearls [Internet]. Published 18 Sept 2021.
    Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/
    NBK541120
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/generalised-anxiety-disorder/self-help/
  6. Farmer S. Int J Stress Manag. 2017;1(6):1-4.
    Available from: https://www.stressprevention.net/volume/
    volume-1-2017/volume-1-article-6/
  7. https://gutscharity.org.uk/poo-torial/
  8. https://www.imodium.co.uk/sites/
    imodium_uk/files/imodium_gutsuk_myth-busting_factsheet.pdf
  9. For claims verification, please call 0808 238 9999. Source® NielsenIQ data, Value, Units, antidiarrhoea category (client defined) 52 w/e 17.02.2024 (GB Total Coverage).

Page Last Updated

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Category

GUT HEALTH

Date of preparation: March 2024
UK-ACA-2400042
Click here for Imodium® (loperamide) product information.