A Journey Through a Child's Digestive System
If you have a child with a digestive problem, this book is for you.
Gut Feeling is a collaboration between Nicola Stewart and Evelina London Children's Hospital.
The book illustrates how our digestive system works and explains related medical terms in easy to understand language.
I write about some of the challenges, the impact these may have on day to day life and ways to help deal with them.
Eating is a basic thing we take for granted, but when you have a child with medical issues around digestion, it can become immensely complex.
I am the parent of such a child - Spike, now 10 - who was born four months prematurely. I came from a background of sports massage and had a good grasp of physiology, but I had to learn fast. Medical jargon can be bewildering, particularly when it’s applied to your own child. Add in the anxieties of being a parent of a son or daughter in hospital, and it can be overwhelming.
I wrote Gut Feeling to take parents on a journey through the gastrointestinal system and navigate the complexity of medical jargon based on my family's struggle to understand our son’s illness.
From ‘In’, ‘Along’ and ‘Out’ the book follows food from ingestion to excretion. Each chapter explains how different parts of the digestive process work and then talks about what ‘could go wrong’. It describes some of the challenges parents face, the impact these may have on day to day life and ways to help deal with them. There are ‘fun facts to share with your child’ and simplified descriptions of common disorders, procedures and treatments.
All sections are illustrated to help a family's understanding of the gut and engage a child more positively with what is happening inside them. This is a book I wished I had to help me to cope when we started on our journey. It is not a text book, I wanted it to be more fun, and I wanted to tell it from the perspective of personal experience.
'Gut Feeling will provide a bridge between children and their families on one side and the health care profession with their complex maze of medical terminology and jargon on the other side - when Nicola promised to write something exceptional she truly delivered'.
------- Dr Mohamed Mutalib Consultant for Paediatric Gastroenterology Evelina London
'Nicola has first-hand experience of trying to understand the complexities of the digestive system to support her own son in his medical journey. She was only too aware of the very limited information available for parents and families, and has created this exceptional resource to support and empower families and improve their experiences of medical care'.
------- Melinda Edwards. MBE Consultant Clinical Psychologist Evelina London
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“Nicola is a passionate and engaged speaker, with true authority and personal experience of the challenges many parents face. She always receives excellent feedback and often leaves her audience moved to tears by her honest and frank accounts of the challenges faced by children and their families in the both diagnosis and ongoing management of complex medical needs.”
— Dr Sharon Roberts, Paediatric Consultant