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  1. Brochure, Fact Sheet: IBS Questions and Answers


    By: Douglas A. Drossman, MD

    This in-depth overview of IBS includes information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, management, and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Written in collaboration by IFFGD and physicians noted for their knowledge about IBS. Newly revised and updated 2013.

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

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  2. Fact Sheet: Functional Diarrhea - Some Answers to Often Asked Questions


    By: Ira Merkel, MD

    Overview of functional diarrhea, including answers to the following questions: What is diarrhea? What are functional bowel disorders? Is functional diarrhea the same as irritable bowel syndrome? What is the cause of functional diarrhea? What treatments are available for functional diarrhea? Revised and updated 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  3. Fact Sheet: The Neurobiology of Stress and Emotions


    By: Emeran A. Mayer, MD

    We often hear the term “stress” associated with functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Many patients experience a worsening of symptoms during times of severely stressful life events. But what is stress? How often does it occur? How does our body respond to stress? This article explores the mechanisms that link stress and emotions to responses that have evolved to ensure survival and that, in the modern world, affect health – including gastrointestinal function.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  4. Fact Sheet: Chlorophyllin: Is it Effective Odor Control?


    By: Richard Nelson, MD

    Odor is what informs those around you that you have a problem with your bowel or bladder control. It causes a great deal of distress. This was also the case with patients with colostomies before good stoma appliances became available, which was about thirty to thirty-five years ago. Since the output could not be directly controlled, attention was turned to control of the odor. There were several ways in which odor was addressed – changes in diet and medication. The medications used were charcoal in various forms, which is still used commonly today, and a product that is seldom seen today, chlorophyllin.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  5. Fact Sheet: Are You a Gut Responder? Hints on Coping with an Irritable Bowel


    By: Barry Blackwell, MD

    The gut and the brain develop from the same part of the human embryo. So it is not surprising that the intestinal tract has such a rich nerve supply that it is sometimes referred to as “the little brain.” The gut shares many of the same kinds of nerve endings and chemical transmitters as the brain to which it remains linked through a large nucleus (the locus ceruleus). This collection of nerve cells is partly responsible for controlling anxiety and fear, which explains why these emotions can sometimes be associated with bowel function.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  6. Fact Sheet: ¿Respondes con el intestino?


    By: Barry Blackwell, MD

    El intestino y el cerebro se desarrollan en la misma parte del embrión humano. Por lo tanto, no es de sorprenderse que el tracto gastrointestinal cuenta con un suministro muy rico de terminaciones nerviosas por lo que en ocasiones se le conoce como "el pequeño cerebro".

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  7. Fact Sheet: Disorders Related to Excessive Pelvic Floor Muscle Tension


    By: Jeanette Tries, PhD, OTR

    Disorders which have excessive pelvic floor muscle activity as their primary feature are often not recognized and diagnosed by physicians. However, millions of people suffer from such disorders and associated symptoms of disabling pain and disruptions in bowel and bladder control. Unfortunately, individuals with these disorders frequently seek help for many years before receiving any explanation for, or relief from their disturbing symptoms. The purpose of this article is to briefly explain the role of the pelvic floor muscles and some symptoms related to the presence of elevated tension in these muscles, and to describe various treatment options available.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  8. Fact Sheet: Biofeedback & Bowel Disorders: Teaching Yourself to Live without the Problem


    By: Mary K. Plummer, OTR, BCIA-PMBD; Jeanette Tries, PhD, OTR

    Biofeedback is a neuromuscular reeducation tool we can use to tell if certain processes in our bodies are working correctly. It is a painless process that uses a computer and a video monitor to display bodily functions that we usually are not aware of. Special sensors measure these functions, which are displayed as sounds we can hear, or as linegraphs we can see on a computer screen. A therapist helps us use this displayed information to modify or change abnormal responses to more normal patterns such as increasing a response, decreasing a response, or learning to coordinate two responses more effectively.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  9. Fact Sheet: Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy: What to Expect


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    Your doctor has suggested that you have a colonoscopy, or perhaps a shorter version called a sigmoidoscopy. For that purpose you are referred to a specialist, usually a gastroenterologist who is specially trained to do the procedure. This article describes what to expect. Reviewed and updated 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  10. 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
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