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Topic: Working with your healthcare provider

  1. Brochure: Talking To Your Doctor About Incontinence


    By: William F. Norton, Communications Director, IFFGD

    Easy Read Format. If you see changes in your bowel control, the first step is to tell your doctor. Most people feel uneasy talking about their stool, intestinal gas, or bowel movements. But doctors understand that these are very normal and necessary processes in all of us. Doctors and other therapists are there to help when bodily processes go wrong. So the first very important step is to talk plainly about the problems you are experiencing.

    Also available offline as a glossy color brochure (3.5" x 8.5"). Contact IFFGD for details.

    This publication is also available in Spanish. Go»

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  2. Brochure: Como Hablar Con Tu Medico Acerca de la Incontinencia


    By: William F. Norton, Communications Director, IFFGD

    Easy Read Format. Si sientes que tienes cambios en el control de tus esfínteres, lo primero que debes hacer es avisarle a tu medico. La mayoría de las personas se sienten incómodas para hablar de sus heces fecales, gas intestinal, o de sus evacuaciones. Sin embargo los médicos entienden que estos son procesos muy normales y necesarios en todos nosotros. Los doctores y otros terapeutas están para ayudarte cuando tus procesos corporales fallan. Por lo tanto, el primer paso importante que debes tomar, es hablar claramente acerca de los problemas que te aquejan.

    Also available offline as a glossy color brochure (3.5" x 8.5"). Contact IFFGD for details.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  3. Fact Sheet: Doctor - Patient Communication


    By: Kevin W. Olden, MD

    Functional GI disorders present a special challenge to the doctor-patient interaction for several reasons. First, functional GI disorders are characterized, in most cases, by vague symptoms of variable intensity. Many times, these symptoms involve the most intimate anatomic areas of the body. The sensitivity of these issues can complicate the task for the patient who needs to express them in terms that the physician can interpret to formulate a diagnosis. Secondly, the physician is hampered by the absence of obvious structural lesions that often lessens the likelihood of devising a specific medical intervention that is successful. In some cases, the physician’s own anxiety can be increased by the lack of a symptom complex that leads to well-understood disease entity, such as parasites or lactose intolerance. This deficiency, in turn, often leads both physician and patient to over-investigate the symptoms. So what are the ingredients that comprise successful doctor-patient communication about the functional GI disorders?

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  4. Fact Sheet: Quality of Life Assessment


    By: Ivan Barofsky, PhD

    In general, a quality of life assessment is one of the most important ways that a patient has to have his or her interest expressed in the design and selection of treatments. You should be aware of this and ask your doctor about what he or she knows about the qualitative, or quality of life, consequence of any new treatment you are being asked to take. In this way you can become a powerful force in keeping the quality of life issues as a visible part of medical practice

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  5. Fact Sheet: How to Talk to Your Doctor-the Doctor's Perspective


    By: Patricia L. Raymond, MD, FACP, FACG

    Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), have a wide variability in symptoms and activity and require a lot of patient help in the management of the disorder. However, most physicians have been forced by the economics of managed care to see more patients in less time than ever before. Patients with functional GI disorders often tend to require more time than the average patient because multiple factors may be involved - time to discuss things like diet, stress, or exercise, and their effects on this disorder. Here are a few suggestions which can help improve the worth of the time that you do have with your physician.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  6. Fact Sheet: Current Approach to the Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: George F. Longstreth, MD

    In the past two decades, medical opinion has changed regarding how to diagnose IBS. The older view emphasized that IBS should be regarded primarily as a "diagnosis of exclusion;" that is, diagnosed only after diagnostic testing excludes many disorders that could possibly cause the symptoms. Fortunately, physicians can now diagnose IBS in most patients by recognizing certain symptom details, performing a physical examination, and undertaking limited diagnostic testing. This simpler approach is grounded on recent knowledge...and it leads to a reliable diagnosis in most cases. Revised and updated 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  7. Fact Sheet: What are Placebos? Are they good for you?


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    A placebo is commonly thought of as a thing; that is a pill , a device, a procedure that is employed by a healer to help or seem to help his or her patient. It is more instructive to think of it as an effect: the effect of a treatment that goes beyond its intended pharmacological or physiological effect. It is more or less a component of all healing. Reviewed 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  8. Fact Sheet: Talking to your Doctor About Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders IFFGD

    We encourage you to be proactive in your own health maintenance. Make the most out of your doctor visit-be prepared. Complete the worksheet on the back of this page and take it to your doctor. By providing your physician with this information, he or she may be able to gain a greater insight not ordinarily attainable during a standard 15-minute appointment.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  9. Fact Sheet: How Drugs are Evaluated: Patients' Guide to Randomized Clinical Trials


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    Until the mid-twentieth century, healers relied upon their collective and individual experience to select the best remedy for a patient's complaint. Even today, most treatments are trial and error. Physicians, almost unique among healers, have sought scientific bases for their treatments, and their most powerful tool is the randomized clinical trial (RCT). Reviewed 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  10. Fact Sheet: What is Evidence-based Medicine?


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    From the 17th to the late 20th century, doctors often acted upon anecdote, opinion, and tradition. As a result many useless and even some harmful treatments were employed. Evidence-based medicine is a late 20th century innovation. It is the "conscientious, explicit and judicious use of the current best evidence from clinical care research in making decisions about the care of individual patients." It depends upon the accumulation of data from treating patients. This article describes the challenges and methods used in this process. Reviewed and updated 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
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