48 Wimpole Blog


This may not be the ideal reading material for the squeamish, or if you are sitting down to eat.  But taboo as it may be, it is a critical aspect of our personal health that is often ignored.

We are talking about bowels and if you take your health seriously, suspend your squeamishness and stay with me.

What goes in, must come out and the journey from cooking pot to toilet pan, via your digestive system, has many twists and turns,

Even if two people share the same meal, the experience and outcome can be very different.

People can talk endlessly about the weather, sport, traffic etc, but when it comes to discussing a perfectly natural function, that can bring misery to many, our lips are sealed.  As a result, millions of people suffer silently with a range of bowel and digestive problems, that can lead to anxiety disorders, mild depression and far worse.

Our bowel movements are a barometer of how our digestive system is working and also that of our general health. In fact, the wonderfully named Bristol Stool Scale is a medical picture chart classifying faeces into seven categories, from hard separate lumps to fluffy with ragged edges to entirely liquid.

On average, a meal spends between 36-40 hours making its way through and out of our systems. After two to four hours in the stomach it has to navigate more than six metres of small intestine, before heading down the final 1.5 metres of large intestine. This is a long journey, fraught with issues for many people, many of which can be easily remedied, bringing untold relief.

Anyone diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) will be all too aware of the horrors of abdominal pain, gaseous bloating, churning noises, the feelings of explosive urgency, constant trips to the toilet and the dreaded diarrhoea or constipation.

It can make or break an important business meeting or holiday, cause torture on a date, and make job interviews, theatre trips and other journeys a living nightmare.  And so it becomes a vicious circle; as the anxiety mounts more hormones flood into the gut causing more mayhem and on it goes.

Embarrassment about going to the loo away from home or holding on and ignoring that ‘got to go’ urge can mean a build up of gas. Breaking wind is perfectly normal, with an average of 8-20 ‘releases’ per day being the norm.

Overriding the urge to empty your bowels causes our eco-friendly bodies to recycle some of the water content of the faeces (which is there to assist an easy exit) thus leading to a risk of constipation.

Regular constipation and straining can lead to piles (haemorrhoids) and the passing of blood, which can lead to fear, anxiety and discomfort.

IBS may be caused by a prior intestinal infection, but may also be associated with stress and the wrong diet. Getting to know your body and the reactions caused by certain foods can bring some relief. The 5-7 a day message has confused many, resulting in a high fruit intake in a bid to be healthy.  This number should include a mixture of fruit and veg and if you suffer with IBS, remember that these foods will generate more gut activity and that a high intake of vitamin C causes diarrhoea.

Foods like beans, lentils, wheat, dairy, onions and vegetables such as cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower can increase wind, but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing.  Studies have found that hydrogen sulphide in wind is also produced by an enzyme in blood vessels, relaxing them, lowering blood pressure.  So releasing it may be good for you!

Finding the right diet can be simple and transform day-to-day living. People are too quick to eliminate whole food groups, like carbohydrates, dairy, etc from their diet, on advice from a friend or a supposed ‘expert’.  Without a proper consultation and testing carried out by a medical professional (doctor, registered nutritionist or dietitian), this can lead to deficiencies and replace one set of problems with a completely new one.

Wendy O’Neill, Nutritionist

Nick and Sophia are top professionals with a comprehensive network of specialists, should they be needed, in the vicinity of Harley street. I have seen a number of them and all have been “top quartile” in my opinion.
Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS
48 Wimpole Street practice has taken outstanding care of my family for three generations. They are a fantastic team, from the doctors to the practice staff. I am always confident that we receive the best of care and advice.
Shrai Madhvani
I have been visiting the Wimpole Street practise for 10 years now and can honestly say the level of service I have received is second to none. Sophia and her team always go above and beyond to ensure their patients receive the warmest welcome and …
James Myers, Group Managing Director TVC Group
I have been both a patient of Dr Khalique’s and she has worked with us in our business for a number of years. I and my team have been constantly impressed with her medical expertise, professionalism and caring manner. She is supported by terrific staff …
Sara Geater
Dr Khalique provides invaluable professional support to Thames. The Practice at 48 Wimpole Street is integral to the screening and welfare of contributors taking part in our highest profile television programmes. The consultancy provided to our productions ensures that we can offer the best and …
Dean Jones. Director of Production, Thames
I have and our company has been a patient of Dr Sophia Khalique’s and ’48 Wimpole Street’ for 15 years. She and her team are fantastic; they have a wonderful manner, truly care about their patients, are totally professional and give great advice. We use all their facilities …
Nick True Chairman TLC Marketing Worldwide
As a family, we are very content with the services we have received from the practice of Dr Sawyer and Dr Khalique. The caring and accommodating staff have always been assuring to any urgent need we have had in the past. For a small practice …
Fauziah and Jeremy Robinow
For me Sophia has been a constant presence and support through a couple of particularly torrid and potentially (but not yet!) terminal years. Consultants are highly focused and knowledgeable doctors, but they cannot generally, and do not, provide the sort of constant holistic care that …
John Stephens, Barrister, Lincoln’s Inn
Having known Dr Khalique for fifteen years, we have developed a great relationship as she has seen me grow up and been with me every step of the way to make sure I became the healthy, happy person I am today. Most people my age …
Yasmin, First year student at Bristol University
Having experienced the service provided by Nick and Sophia, Timothy James & Partners recommend all important clients’ medicals be carried out by their practice. It is efficient and we stay in control of the paperwork and medical underwriting. Many of those clients that have been …
Timothy Whiting, Timothy James & Partners
Dr. Nick Sawyer has kept us in good health for more than 15 years. He has always been kind and caring and referred us to top specialists whichever care has been our need. We are always confident that whatever the reason for our visit we …
Philipa and Michael Bradley
Sophia Khalique has been our family doctor for the past fourteen years. She has not only seen us through the birth of my youngest son and the usual childhood and adult ailments but also through major illnesses, both chronic and acute. Sophia has been our …
Mrs M Jay and Mr R Pyke
I have known Dr Khalique for many years. She has all the qualities of a top doctor. She has compassion and sympathy in addition to being extremely competent professionally. She is a joy to work with and has a lovely bedside manner. I would heartily …
Dr Charlie Cockerell
The Bechtel Corporation have relied upon Dr. Sawyer for the past 25 years and Dr. Khalique for 15 years for medical services that include pre foreign assignment medicals, executive medical evaluation, preventative services, medical risk assessments and all manner of GP services. We work all …
Rob Bull, HR Manager, Bechtel Corporation
I have the great pleasure in being both a personal patient of Dr Sophia Khalique and of having a professional relationship with her and her practice at 48 Wimpole street for Medical and psychiatric pre-care and after care for the contestants that audition and appear …
Richard Holloway, M.D. Thames Television. Interim C.E.O. Fremantle Media U.K.