Neurogastroenterology is the medical discipline that specialises in diagnosing and treating abnormalities in gut neuromuscular function and brain-gut interactions.

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About neurogastroenterology

Many patients suffer with gut disorders related to eating, sensitivity, pain and evacuation, which are often associated with abnormalities the nervous system or muscles in the gut itself; or how the nervous systems in the brain and the gut communicate with each other. These can result in heartburn, swallowing difficulties, chest pain, stomach pain, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea and difficult defaecation.

Symptoms and conditions of neurogastroenterology

Intestinal Neuro Obstruction (INO)

Intestinal pseudo-obstruction (IPO) is a neurological digestive condition in which the nerves or muscles in the intestines affect the movement of food moving along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (the gut). It can develop in babies during pregnancy (congenital intestinal pseudo-obstruction), or as a result of a bowel abnormality.

Chronic abdominal pain

If you have nervous system abnormalities (neurological disorder), your brain and gut may not communicate with each other properly and you may develop chronic abdominal pain, where recurring abdominal pain is experienced over an extended period of time. The pain may vary from mild to severe, may be intermittent and may or may not worsen over time.

Nausea and vomiting

Neurological disorders are diseases of the brain, spine and nerves connecting them. These conditions can include: migraine, increased intracranial pressure, labyrinthine disorders and demyelinating disorder. They can cause chronic or recurrent nausea and/or vomiting that can make you feel very poorly and weak.


Within your gut, your nervous system transmits messages about eating, pain, sensitivity and the bowels to your brain. However, nervous system abnormalities (neurological disorders) may mean that your brain and gut do not communicate with each other properly. As a result, you may develop diarrhoea (frequent, loose and watery stools).

Need to know

In order to understand more about your condition, your HCA UK neurogastroenterology consultant will carry out a diagnostic test, using our state-of-the-art SmartPill Gi Monitoring System.

You will be asked swallow a capsule that can be tracked through your gastrointestinal tract, and measures whole gut and regional gut (stomach, small bowel and colon) transit times, continuously for five days or more using a wearable data receiver. This helps to evaluate a range of possible conditions including gastroparesis, chronic constipation and pan-intestinal disorders.

The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.