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Topic: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  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: 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Fact Sheet: Gut Motility: In Health and Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: John E. Kellow, MD

    What are normal movements (motility) of the digestive tract? How may altered motility lead to symptoms? Disorders affecting the motility of the digestive tract may be self-limiting, occurring only for a brief period as in acute infection of the digestive tract causing diarrhea. They can also be more longstanding and persistent as in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is associated with a variety of symptoms, particularly abdominal pain and an irregular bowel habit.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  7. Fact Sheet: Gynecological Aspects of Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: Margaret M. Heitkemper, RN, PhD; Monica Jarett

    Over a decade ago, investigators noted that approximately half of the women attending a gynecology clinic had symptoms (e.g., abdominal pain, change in bowel pattern) compatible with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Since that study, a number of other studies have demonstrated a higher prevalence of gynecologic disorders, such as pain associated with menstruation (dysmenorrhea) and premenstrual distress syndrome in women with IBS as compared to those without IBS.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  8. Fact Sheet: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Pathophysiologic Links to More Effective Future Therapy


    By: Michael Camilleri, MD

    Several investigators as well as an NIH consensus conference on the "irritable bowel syndrome" (IBS) have stressed the importance of the biopsychosocial model in the etiopathogenesis (origin and development) of this syndrome. In this short article, the pathophysiologic (disease process) links between big brain, little brain, motility and sensation are explored based on currently available data. These data suggest that investigators and clinicians need to be dissuaded from approaching IBS as though it was a single disorder in all patients, or as though only one mechanism is responsible for development of symptoms. In essence, this is a plea for the importance of integrated rather than reductionist approaches to research, diagnosis, and management of IBS. Revised and updated 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  9. Fact Sheet: Visceral Sensations and Brain-Gut Mechanisms


    By: Emeran A. Mayer, MD

    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.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  10. Fact Sheet: What you can do after. (Anal discomfort and how to deal with it)


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    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.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  11. Fact Sheet: Understanding and Managing Chronic Pain


    By: Bruce D. Naliboff, PhD

    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.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  12. Fact Sheet: Diet and Functional Bowel Disease


    By: Kenneth W. Heaton, MD, FRCP

    The exact nature of the connection between what people eat and how their intestines behave is controversial, but there is certainly a connection. The effects of foods on the gut are reviewed.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  13. Fact Sheet: Central Nervous System Modulation-Its Role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: Paul Enck, PhD

    Most of us have experienced some of the ways that the central nervous system (CNS) affects the gut in our everyday lives. The affect may be direct, like an urgent need to evacuate the bowels when life gets exciting. It may be indirect, like the decision to suppress the urge to go to the bathroom when social circumstances, work, or sanitary conditions do not allow it. In this article, we will examine four methods of brain-gut interaction and their influence on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  14. Fact Sheet: Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: Kevin W. Olden, MD

    Although fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two very different disorders, they often overlap, and they share a number of commonalities that bear closer scrutiny. Like irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia is a disorder that is diagnosed based on clinical (symptom based) criteria as opposed to laboratory and imaging studies.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  15. 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.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  16. 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.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  17. 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.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  18. 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.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  19. Fact Sheet: IBS in Men: A Different Disease?


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    The gastrointestinal tract is anatomically gender-neutral. While its furthest extremity is in proximity to the genital organs, surgeons, endoscopists, anatomists, and pathologists observe no differences between the intestines of males and females. It should follow that symptoms and other manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should be the same in men as it is in women. This appears not to be so. This article concentrates on gender differences in the epidemiology, symptoms, physiology, psychosocial issues, and responses to treatment of IBS. Reviewed and updated 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  20. Brochure, Fact Sheet: Current Pharmacologic Treatments of Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: Anthony J. Lembo, MD

    Pharmacologic treatments for IBS are usually aimed at improving the predominant IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. The most common classes of drugs currently used are laxatives, antidiarrheals, antispasmodics, antidepressants, and 5-HT modulators. A review of indications, methods of action, and side effects associated with commonly available agents used to treat IBS.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
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