For some, the intestines are really sensitive – diarrhoea, stomachache, flatulence and above all: great pain. Why this is so and what chronic pain sufferers can do about it. Angelica Dietrich

Sometimes even doctors have to swallow when patients talk. For example, a 40-year-old man told the Erlangen gastroenterologist Yurdagül Zopf how he had tried to carry out a stool transplant himself. He had bought a tube and was trying to insert a relative’s excrement into himself.