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Topic: Working with your healthcare provider

  1. Fact Sheet: Understanding the Quality of Life Impact of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

    205

    By: Brennan M. R. Spiegel, MD

    Functional gastrointestinal (G) disorders significantly impact health related quality of life. This impact is obvious to anyone who has a disorder, or to any provider who cares for people with these disorders. In light of this finding, several medical organizations suggest that healthcare providers carefully monitor the health related quality of life of their patients in order to help guide treatment decisions. However, some studies indicate that many (but by no means all) providers do a poor job of addressing their patients' concerns, and accurately assessing the impact of functional GI disorder symptoms on their overall health status. Patients, in turn, become dissatisfied with their care. This article aims to help both provider and patient understand health related quality of life and improve patient care.

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  2. Fact Sheet: What Patients Know About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and What They Would Like to Know

    212

    By: Albena Halpert, MD

    The right information can help patients with IBS feel better. Knowing this can help doctors and patients. Wrong beliefs about IBS may lead to distress, more doctor visits, and unneeded tests. For example, patients need to know that IBS: Does not put them at risk for cancer; Does not get worse with age, and; Does not shorten life spans. Patients most often want to know: If foods and diet have an effect on IBS; The causes of IBS, and; How best to treat and cope with the disorder.

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  3. Fact Sheet: Nocebo Effects: They can Impair Health Care

    215

    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    The placebo effect can enhance therapy, and promote a successful relationship between healer and patient. However, a treatment administered by a healer may also have a bad effect. Any treatment may have a predictable risk, but a nocebo effect denotes worsening beyond the known risk – the adverse effect of a failed therapeutic relationship. This can result in sub-optimal health care. An examination of its causes and ways to avoid it are discussed.

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  4. Fact Sheet: The Medical History: How to Help Your Doctor Help You

    221

    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    The most important interaction between patient and doctor is the medical history. Through listening to the story of the patient’s illness and asking relevant questions, a physician may often make a diagnosis, or at least begin to understand the nature and location of the complaint. A few easy steps can help make this process more efficient leading to prompt, more precise diagnosis and treatment. Revised January 2012.

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  5. Fact Sheet: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An Approach to Treating Patients

    227

    By: Peter J. Whorwell, MD

    At the 7th International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, held in April 2007 by IFFGD, we talked to Peter Whorwell, MD about treatment options that are available to patients with IBS.  For over two decades, Dr. Whorwell has been studying functional gastrointestinal disorders. He directs the South Manchester Functional Bowel Service where he cares for a large number of patients including about 1,000 new patients with IBS per year.

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  6. Fact Sheet: Report from IFFGD Research Award Winner: Symptom Based Psychology for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

    230

    By: Bruce D. Naliboff, PhD

    How do we understand the many studies that show an increase in negative moods like anxiety or depression in those suffering from functional gastrointestinal (GI) and pain conditions? Are these psychological factors an important cause for the development and/or maintenance of symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and other functional GI disorders? Or are they a result of maybe years of disrupted life activities and frequent periods of intolerable symptoms? 

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  7. Fact Sheet: How Can I Determine if I Received a Thorough Colonoscopy?

    232

    By: Thomas Puetz, MD

    Colonoscopy is currently our most effective means of reducing the incidence of colon cancer, but only slightly over one-third of eligible persons elect to have a colonoscopy. With the inconvenience and expense of colonoscopy incurred, one should expect and receive a thorough examination. This article outlines some way to ensure that your colonoscopy is performed correctly and thoroughly.

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  8. Fact Sheet: Report from IFFGD Research Award Winner: Diagnostic Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Theory vs. Reality

    233

    By: Brennan M. R. Spiegel, MD

    Dr. Spiegel is a recipient of a 2007 IFFGD Research Award. In this article, Dr. Spiegel discusses some of the challenges in diagnosing IBS, including whether or not to perform multiple diagnostic tests.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  9. Fact Sheet: A Noisy Tummy: What Does it Mean?

    234

    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    While seldom of medical importance, for some people a rumbling, growling stomach can be a source of profound embarrassment. Picturesquely dubbed “borborygmi,” bowel sounds seem loudest to the owner, who is sometimes mistakenly convinced they are obvious to all. This article explains the causes of bowel sounds, discusses when the sounds become a cause for medical concern, and offers some tips that may help reduce bowel noises.

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  10. Fact Sheet: I Have a Gut Problem: Which Doctor Should I See?

    236

    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    When suffering from ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms, you may find it difficult to choose or even find a doctor to care for you. In this article, Dr. Thompson offers helpful suggestions, drawn from his many years of experience in clinical practice, on selecting a doctor. 

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