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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 4 September
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DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
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Tuesday 4 September 2007
IBS

Full programme transcript >>

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Up to one in five people in the UK suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS.

Although not life-threatening, it is the world’s most common functional gastrointestinal disorder.

The function of the gut is upset, but all parts of the gut look normal, even when examined under a microscope.

Dr Mark Porter explores current understanding of this debilitating syndrome and how it is best treated.

His guest in the studio is Robin Spiller, Professor of Gastroenterology at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Dietary Intervention

Altering a patient's diet is the obvious first step to treating IBS.

In the past, this would have centred on increasing the amount of fibre in the diet, but it's now been discovered that this can sometimes make some people's symptoms worse.

Mark talks to Dr Stephen Middleton, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, about other changes that can be made to the diet to help cope with IBS.

Hypnotherapy

Although it's not certain what causes it, it's thought that stress contributes significantly to the symptoms of IBS. 

This has led some practitioners to use a more psychological approach to treatment, including hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques.

Angela Robson visits the Wythenshawe hospital in Manchester to find out how hypnotherapy can help IBS sufferers.

New Approaches

Dr Naila Arebi, Consultant Gastroenterologist at St Mark’s Hospital in London, tells Mark about her research using probiotics as a new approach to treating IBS.

The other study she is working on is looking at the brain-gut axis - exploring what causes people with IBS to have heightened sensitivity of their nerves within the bowel.
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