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Topic: CAM, Complementary & Alternative Treatments

  1. Fact Sheet: Chlorophyllin: Is it Effective Odor Control?

    107

    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.

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  2. Fact Sheet: Are You a Gut Responder? Hints on Coping with an Irritable Bowel

    108

    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.

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  3. Fact Sheet: ¿Respondes con el intestino?

    108-S

    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".

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  4. Fact Sheet: Biofeedback & Bowel Disorders: Teaching Yourself to Live without the Problem

    112

    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.

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  5. Fact Sheet: Understanding and Managing Chronic Pain

    140

    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.

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  6. Fact Sheet: Functional Abdominal Pain Syndrome

    141

    By: Douglas A. Drossman, MD

    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.

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

    162

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

    164

    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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  9. Fact Sheet: Hypnosis Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    171

    By: Olafur S. Palsson, PsyD

    The standard medical methods currently used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are of some help to the majority of people with the disorder. However, up to half of IBS sufferers are dissatisfied with the results of standard medical management, and many continue to have frequent symptoms after seeing doctors about them. In recent years, other alternatives have been sought to help these individuals. There has been growing interest in the possibility of using the mind to soothe the symptoms of IBS. This article includes a description of hypnosis for IBS and how to select a hypnotherapist.

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  10. Fact Sheet: Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

    181

    By: Kirsten Tillisch, MD; Steven Tan, MD, MTOM, LAc

    If conventional medical therapies prove unsuccessful or have unwanted side effects, many people choose to pursue complementary or alternative therapies (CAM). Complementary therapies are done in addition to traditional medical treatments, and alternative therapies are done instead of medical treatments. Many CAM modalities exist and they can be roughly grouped into several categories including herbal/dietary, somatic therapies (such as acupuncture or massage), mind-body therapies (such as hypnosis or meditation), and movement or breathing exercises (such as yoga or tai chi). In this review we will discuss each of these categories, focusing on those that have been studied most rigorously.

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