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Sharmili Balarajah

#auguts hard to talk about

Dr Sharmili Balarajah is a Specialty Trainee Gastroenterology with research interests in how ethnicity impacts the treatment of IBD. She is currently working on her Bowel Research UK grant on this topic.


The investigators in this study will examine the clinical details of >34,000 patients from a nationwide database, to identify patterns of disease in ethnically distinct populations and to look at how these populations respond to different IBD treatments. This has not been previously investigated.


They will also explore signals in the blood that could be used to develop non-invasive tests to characterise someone’s IBD and pave the way for personalised treatment.


Learn more about Dr Balarajah’s research here: www.bowelresearchuk.org/research-hub/the-impact-of-ethnicity-on-inflammatory-bowel-disease/


Want to learn about Eric’s experiences of bowel disease? Follow this link to watch his story: www.bowelresearchuk.org/auguts-stories/eric-and-madusha/

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Explore the #auguts campaign 2023

#auguts stories

We’re highlighting topics that are difficult to talk about and research that’s hard to fund. Read and watch stories from bowel cancer and bowel disease patients and researchers.


I was born 8 weeks premature with Intestinal Malrotation. My understanding is they weren’t sure what was causing me the pain as a newborn, being premature too. When surgery was eventually done it was found my bowels had twisted. Corrective surgery was done. I was christened in the hospital as it wasn’t looking great.

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I have diverticular disease on the right side of my body and I believe only a few people have it on this side.

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Frank McDermott

Mr Frank McDermott is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Cancer lead for the Genomics Medicine Service Alliance in Southwest England. His grant with Bowel Research UK why some patients with diverticulitis experience serious complications such as blood infection, while others have milder disease. 

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Share your #auguts story

Join the #auguts campaign by sharing your own story via video or the written word! We are looking for videos and stories about difficult conversations people have had about their bowel condition, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, or anything else related. Our Patient and Public Involvement Manager Sam Alexandra Rose has created her own video as an example, which you can see below to give you some ideas.

Your video or written story will appear on our website and be shared on our social media channels. Please include your social media handles if you feel comfortable with us tagging you when we share your story. Videos may be edited slightly, for example by adding captions or putting several videos together, or adding our logo. Take a look at this guide for some tips on filming video on your phone. If you have any questions, email sam@bowelresearchuk.org.

    Please use the field below to attach your story as a word document or video as well as accompanying photos

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    Find out more about #auguts 2023

    We brought some of our patients, researchers and our CEO together to talk about what makes bowel disease hard to talk about and hard to fund. Watch them share their stories and join the campaign.

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