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  1. Fact Sheet: Chronic Diarrhea: Could it Have an Everyday Cause?


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    Chronic diarrhea has many causes. Malabsorption, Crohn's disease, colitis, and pancreatic insufficiency are topics for another day. This article focuses upon those causes where a change in behavior may result in a rapid improvement in the diarrhea. Reviewed and updated 2009.

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  2. Fact Sheet: Fiber Therapy in IBS and other GI Disorders


    By: James W. Anderson, MD

    Specific food practices may contribute to constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Based on our observation and experiences in nutrition research, we will share with you some suggestions for improving bowel function and decreasing symptom severity.

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  3. Fact Sheet: Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis


    By: Cheri Smith, Medical Writer

    Diverticulosis is the condition of having small pouches protruding from the wall of the colon. These pouches are extremely common among Americans, for example, where about 10 percent of people over age 40, half of those older than 60, and two-thirds over age 80 have them.

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  4. Fact Sheet: Controlling Intestinal Gas


    By: William F. Norton, Communications Director, IFFGD

    Everybody produces gas, and everybody needs to pass gas. The amount depends on the individual, and there is a wide range of "normal." Passing gas is normal; nevertheless, it can be embarrassing or cause discomfort. A review of causes, treatments, and tips on controlling gas.

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  5. Fact Sheet: The Lower GI Tract and its Common Functional Disorders:


    By: David S. Greenbaum

    IBS, Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain, Bloating and Gas, Constipation, Diarrhea

    The term "functional" as used in medicine, generally is taken to mean symptoms not accompanied by demonstrable abnormalities on physical examination, blood tests, x-rays, biopsies, endoscopies or other procedures. An overview of common disorders that affect the colon.

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  6. Fact Sheet: Constipation, Colonic Inertia, and Colonic Marker Studies


    By: Eli D. Ehrenpreis, MD

    Constipation is a common symptom. Treatment for constipation often includes lifestyle modifications such as increasing fluid intake, consuming more fiber, and exercising regularly. At times, the symptom of constipation can represent serious medical illnesses such as hypothyroidism or diabetes. Structural abnormalities of the colon, like colonic strictures or other diseases of the colon or rectum, may also cause constipation. It is therefore advisable to report constipation to your physician if it is persistent or difficult to manage. Tests and treatment are described.

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  7. Fact Sheet: Proctalgia Fugax-and Other Pains


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    Many diseases of the anus and rectum may cause severe rectal pain. Usually a doctor can identify such a condition by examining the area. One pain that cannot be so identified is proctalgia fugax, a sudden severe pain that lasts for several minutes and then disappears. An overview of the condition. Reviewed 2009.

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  8. Fact Sheet: Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders of the Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Rectum, and Pelvic Floor


    By: William E. Whitehead, PhD

    The gastrointestinal tract is divided into four distinct parts that are separated by sphincter muscles; these four regions have distinctly different functions to perform and different patterns of motility (contractions). Abnormal motility or abnormal sensitivity in any part of the gastrointestinal tract can cause characteristic symptoms: food sticking, pain, or heartburn in the esophagus; nausea and vomiting in the stomach; pain and bloating in the small intestine; and pain, constipation, diarrhea, and incontinence in the colon and rectum.

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  9. 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.

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  10. Fact Sheet: Using Relaxation in Coping with Gastrointestinal Disorders


    By: Kenneth R. Jones, PhD; Steve Heymen, MS

    Relaxation training is an integral component of behavioral therapies for managing chronic pain, promoting health, and helping patients cope with life-threatening illness. Relaxation can also assist in managing functional GI disorders. How relaxation works and methods are described. Reviewed 2009.

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