There is a growing understanding of the multi-faceted nature of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Symptoms, behaviors, and treatment outcomes for individuals with these disorders relate to disturbances in gastrointestinal motility and sensation that is effected by interactions that take place via the brain-gut axis. To understand and study these conditions, physicians and researchers must become familiar with evolving knowledge that integrates basic science, physiology, clinical medicine, psychology, and psychiatry. Indicated below are some of the highlights of the presentations at the 4th International Symposium for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, which we believe truly reflect the developing areas of research in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
Nearly two million people are affected with IBD [e.g., Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis] in the U.S. These inflammatory conditions are a group of several distinct disorders which probably explains the diversity of extent and activity of inflammation within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The age of onset is usually in the 20s and 30s, although there is a slight second peak in incidence in the 50s to 60s. Men and women are equally affected in IBD as opposed to IBS, which is female predominant. Revised and updated 2009.
Fact Sheet: Visceral Sensations and Brain-Gut Mechanisms127
Over the past several years, different mechanisms located within the gut, or gut wall have been implicated as possible pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the characteristic IBS symptoms of abdominal pain and discomfort. The list ranges from altered transit of intestinal gas, alterations in the colonic flora, immune cell activation in the gut mucosa, and alterations in serotonin containing enterochromaffin cells lining the gut. For those investigators with a good memory, these novel mechanisms can be added to an older list of proposed pathomechanisms, including altered gut motility ("spastic colitis") and alterations in mucus secretion.Topics: Brain-Gut, Constipation, difficult to pass stools, Diarrhea, loose stools, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Lower Abdominal Pain, Pelvic Pain
Fact Sheet: Quality of Life Assessment130
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
Symptoms related to this sensitive area can be very troubling, yet many people are reluctant to discuss them. Itching (pruritis ani), painful defecation, stained underwear, spotting of blood, and offensive odor add up to embarrassment, distress, social handicap and anguish. These complaints of anal discomfort are very common. Symptoms may coexist with the irritable bowel syndrome or other functional bowel disease. Diarrhea and constipation may aggravate them. Anal symptoms are not part of these conditions as they may occur independently. They may be due to or associated with many local diseases. Whatever the association, perianal irritation can be treated. Find out how to get help and what to do about it. Reviewed and updated 2009.Topics: Anal, Rectal Disorders, Bowel urgency, Constipation, difficult to pass stools, Diarrhea, loose stools, Incontinence, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Fact Sheet: Anal Fistulas-Symptoms and Treatment138
A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs or two tissue surfaces. An anal fistula (fistula-in-ano) is a connection between the anal canal and the skin. This fact sheet will help you to understand the cause, treatment, and complications of therapy for fistula-in-ano.Topics: Rectal Pain
Fact Sheet: Relationship of Diet to Functional GI Disorders139
The symptoms of functional GI disorders, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation can by initiated or exacerbated by stress, hormones, drugs, and diet. Certain foods can induce symptoms that mimic certain functional GI disorders. Review of an individual's diet is important when dealing with functional GI symptoms.Topics: Diarrhea, loose stools, Diet, Foods, Food intolerance, Malabsorption, Gas, Bloating, Belching
Fact Sheet: Understanding and Managing Chronic Pain140
Most of the time pain serves as a critical part of our sensory system, and is therefore a necessary though unpleasant function of a healthy body. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that chronic pain may be more like a disease or pathology of the nervous system associated with abnormal responses in the brain and spinal cord. Chronic pain has an impact on every facet of patients' lives. If you have chronic pain it is important to develop a pain management plan that works for you.Topics: CAM, Complementary & Alternative Treatments, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Lower Abdominal Pain, Pelvic Pain, Pain Management
Fact Sheet: An 8-Step Approach to Chronic Pain Management140R
For those with a functional gastrointestinal/motility disorder, pain is often one of several overlapping unpleasant symptoms.Topics: Pain Management
Fact Sheet: Functional Abdominal Pain Syndrome141
People with functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders can have a variety of symptoms that range from painless diarrhea or constipation, to pain associated with diarrhea and/or constipation (usually called irritable bowel syndrome). There is another, less common condition of abdominal pain that is chronic or frequently recurring; it is not associated with changes in bowel pattern. This condition is called functional abdominal pain syndrome. Cause and treatment is discussed.Topics: CAM, Complementary & Alternative Treatments, Lower Abdominal Pain, Pelvic Pain, Pain Management
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