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Topic: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  1. Fact Sheet: Pregnancy and Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: Margaret M. Heitkemper, RN, PhD

    Does pregnancy exacerbate gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in women with functional bowel disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) specifically? This question is relevant for a number of reasons. First, women of reproductive age represent a significant portion of patients with IBS. Second, there is evidence that reproductive cycling (i.e., menstrual cycle) influences symptom reports and bowel transit. This suggests that ovarian hormones, which are elevated in pregnancy, may contribute to GI symptoms. Third, little is known about effective treatment strategies for pregnant women with IBS. This report is intended to address what is known about the potential role of pregnancy in the symptoms of IBS.

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  2. 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.

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  3. Fact Sheet: Hypnotherapy for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders


    By: Peter J. Whorwell, MD

    Unfortunately, the word "hypnosis" often conjures up a whole variety of frequently quite negative connotations even within the medical profession. Many equate the phenomenon with the mind being taken over by the hypnotist and with loss of control by the recipient, which needless to say, is completely erroneous. As a consequence of this, the whole subject is surrounded by a cloud of mystery, which regrettably is often encouraged by those who practice the technique. Reviewed 2009.

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  4. Fact Sheet: Travel Tips Help IBS Sufferers Enjoy Their Vacations


    By: International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders IFFGD

    Travel can be very difficult for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers, who fear they may not be able to control their symptoms when away from home. If you are one of these persons, here are some travel tips from IFFGD designed to help you avoid and manage symptoms, and help create a sense of being more in control when traveling.

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  5. Fact Sheet: Your Digestive System and How It Works


    By: Information Adapted from the National Diseases Information Clearinghouse NIH

    The digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. A description of why digestion is important, how food is digested, how food moves through the digestive system, nutrients, and how the process is controlled. Revised and updated 2009.

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  6. Fact Sheet: Coping with IBS from the Inside Out: Relaxation Techniques to Manage Symptoms


    By: Debbie Zeichner, LCSW, BCD

    Dealing with a chronic gastrointestinal disorder such as IBS can be distressing. You may have days where you don't want to leave the house. You may feel you are sensitive to certain foods and/or have made significant restrictions to your diet. You may feel abdominal cramping one minute and bloating the next. You may walk into a room and check to see where the nearest restroom is, and may even avoid social situations more than you would like. Your bowel symptoms may feel unpredictable and you wish there was something more you could do to regain a sense of control of your life.

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  7. Fact Sheet: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Does It Cause Other Disease?


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    There are many discussions of the plausible causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the question of whether IBS causes other diseases receives less attention. Reviewed 2009.

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  8. Fact Sheet: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unrecognized Severity


    By: Peter J. Whorwell, MD

    Unfortunately, irritable bowel is still regarded by both the medical profession and the unaffected population at large, as more of a nuisance than anything particularly serious. In addition, it is frequently dismissed as a purely psychological condition that should not be taken too seriously, especially as it is not life threatening. As a result of this rather negative perception, patients often feel stigmatized, trivialized, and isolated. A discussion of why individuals with IBS deserve more support from the medical community as well as improved therapeutic options. Reviewed 2009.

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  9. Fact Sheet: Is it IBS or Something Else?


    By: George F. Longstreth, MD

    Physicians can usually identify irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) from patients' symptoms. Many patients additionally require only routine blood tests and a colon evaluation, and some require no tests at all to secure the diagnosis. However, some patients worry that they could have another cause for their symptoms, especially when symptoms are severe and chronic, or they know other people who they think had similar symptoms but a different disorder. Occasionally, another medical problem mimics IBS symptoms. This discussion focuses on how IBS is diagnosed and distinguished from other disorders. Reviewed and updated 2009.

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  10. Fact Sheet: A Guide to Managing the Benefits and Risks of Medicines


    By: Information Adapted from FDA Publication FDA

    For many people, taking medication is a regular part of the daily routine, and these medicines are relied upon to treat disease and improve health. Although medicines can make you feel better and help you get well, it's important to know that all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, have risks as well as benefits.

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