zelnorm - An introduction to irritable bowel syndrome
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An introduction to irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common condition, but in some ways it is still a mystery. There are many different theories about what causes the syndrome, and different doctors will give you different reasons for your illness ' anything from stress to bad bacteria to food intolerance. And once you have been diagnosed, there is no set form of treatment ' instead, sufferers tend to try two or three supplements or therapies to find a combination that works for them.


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About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 15 years and runs the Irritable Bowel
Syndrome Treatment website at
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read about
all kinds of different IBS treatments.

IBS is clearly a complicated issue, so here is a basic overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. The symptoms Although the symptoms of IBS vary from person to person, there are several symptoms which are typical of the illness. The most common symptom is either recurring diarrhea or recurring constipation (although some patients also have alternating diarrhea and constipation).

For now there may be no easy answers, no magic pill and no set standards for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome but there is the hope of tomorrow. A fledgling website has been fostered by a few concerned contributors feeling the need of bringing to IBS sufferers the best information available on the subject. Its contributors, suffers themselves, give their time and efforts actively seeking out any and all information that has the possibility of giving even the smallest amount of relief for those that struggle with Irritable bowel Syndrome. IBS Help Site.com though in its infancy, is in hope of helping, with timely information and ideas all focused on the care and treatment of those that have IBS. Someday, the greatest thrill would be the ability to post, in big and bold letters, that a cure for IBS has been found. Visit http://ibshelpsite.com for more IBS information. For articles concerning Irritable Bowel Syndrome please visit http://ibshelpsite.com/articles/

Are researchers treating IBS in a manner fitting the most reported gastrointestinal disorder, or is it taking a back seat while other maladies that have clinical validity get research funding? Where does the rubber meat the road? What is "clinical validity? As defined by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) clinical validity is a measurement of the accuracy with which a test or tool identifies or predicts a clinical condition. So does that mean because doctors and scientists can't identify what cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nor can they predict it in any measure, nor can they find any tool or test by which to measure it, does this mean that IBS has no clinical Validity?

We need more people in the public eye standing up and saying 'Me too', so that everyone can start to realise just how widespread a problem this is.

Sufferers sometimes find that their symptoms begin after a bout of food poisoning or an operation. Others date their symptoms back to a very stressful period in their lives, and some patients can see no clear reason for why their symptoms began.

For more information about irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

If a search is made of the available date on Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, what one finds is a repeat of the same information that has been available since the early 90's. It just gets hashed and rehashed in a slightly different manner, but with the same type of results. True there are some new drugs that have been released from clinical trials that are showing less then admirable results.

You may also be given one of the new drugs specifically developed for IBS ' Lotronex for diarrhea sufferers and Zelnorm for constipation sufferers.

The diagnosis There is no set test for IBS, and it is often called a diagnosis of 'exclusion'. This means that a doctor may rule out other bowel and stomach complaints such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease before giving you a diagnosis of IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of other more serious conditions such as colitis and Crohn's disease. If you have some or many irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor. A complete physical exam or other tests may be necessary to learn what is causing your pain. Your doctor can also help you decide if over the counter or prescription medications for irritable bowel syndrome or other therapies are right for you.

Disclaimer: The information presented here should not be interpreted as or substituted for medical advice. Please talk to a qualified professional for more information about Zelnorm.

Severe diarrhea has been reported in some cases. This was the only side affect known to occur with Zelnorm. It is extremely important that you report any changes no matter how small to your doctor immediately.

What is IBS? IBS is irritable bowel syndrome. IBS symptoms typically include abdominal pain which is relieved by a bowel movement. There may be excessive gas and bloating. Changes in frequency and appearance of stools are also IBS symptoms. IBS symptoms may include constipation and/or diarrhea.

It may also be worth looking at your diet. A nutritionist can advise on ways to identify any particular food 'triggers' which may be setting off your symptoms, and also on whether you might have a food intolerance to something like gluten or lactose.

And things can change. Just think about breast cancer, which is now regularly discussed on TV and radio, but 20 years ago was stuck behind a wall of silence where breasts were not to be mentioned, cancerous or not.

And good for her! I think that many IBS sufferers will identify with what she says: from embarrassing, unmentionable symptoms to doctors who insist that our bowel problems are really in our heads.

Sometimes patients are given a colonoscopy, where a tiny camera is inserted into the intestines to look for abnormalities. In an IBS sufferer the colonoscopy won't detect any physical signs of disease ' IBS is often called a 'functional' disorder, because it seems to be caused by an alteration in the way the body functions rather than an identifiable cause such as inflammation.

What is IBS with constipation? Doctors make this diagnosis when IBS symptoms include constipation or when a person has fewer bowel movements than what they are accustomed to. The stool may be hard or difficult to pass.

If the drugs do not help you then you could try using a fiber supplement such as Citrucel to add bulk to your stool ' this can be helpful for both diarrhea and constipation. Also, there are other supplements such as Caltrate Plus which may be useful (Caltrate Plus contains calcium carbonate which can reduce diarrhea).

The National Institutes of Health has two easily accessible documents published. The first, publication No. 03--4686 April 2003, which does little more then give lip service to the disorder, then early this year the institute released a new or what might be called a revised publication No. 06--693 February 2006 with more detail of what the disease is. Most of the facts in the new publication have been known for 10 to 15 years. There are a few extended statements of what is known to not be true about the disease, but not much more.

Doctors may prescribe low doses of anti-depressants for IBS pain. But, certain of the newer anti-depressants like Paxil and Prozac can cause diarrhea. All anti-depressants have side effects such as dry mouth, blurred vision and headache. Zelnorm is one of the prescription IBS medications that has been proven effective for relieving constipation and IBS pain in women, but has not been shown to work in men. It is only recommended for short term use and can cause serious side effects.

What is IBS with diarrhea? This is when IBS symptoms include loose, watery stools, possible with mucus present and going more often than usual.

However, this does not mean it is any less real than, say, inflammatory bowel disease, it just means that doctors haven't come up with a proper test for it yet!

Zelnorm was developed to help relieve the bloating that occurs with chronic constipation. It is meant to be a short-term treatment and should be monitored by a physician.

Additional symptoms can include stomach pain (sometimes relieved by a bowel movement), bloating, nausea and a lot of gas. These symptoms generally go away for a short time before returning again, as IBS can work in cycles. Sufferers may experience a few weeks or even a few months of good health before the symptoms come back.

If that is true, then one could easily assume that no large government grants will be forth coming to fund any large scale study of what many in high Places of knowledge specify as the most reported GI disorder. To quote some figures, in 1997 John's Hopkins Magazine published an article by Melissa Hendricks, the magazine's senior science writer at the time; with the title "Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the least understood gastrointestinal illnesses". In that article Hendricks states that "from 8 to 17 percent of the population has IBS". She goes on to declare a figure of 35 Million, that's roughly 10% of the United States Population. And those figures are going on ten years old; one can only imagine what they must be now.

It seems that the National institute of Health, which is under the National office of Health and Human Services, does indeed initiate large grants to universities and companies to conduct research. The reasons we may not be aware of these research projects might be due to privacy agreements adhered to by the government as well as those entities that apply for the grants to conduct the research. That may also be why these research projects never become media headlines. All the grant hearings and meetings take place behind closed doors. All the information that comes and goes is held in strict adherence to the guidelines as set forth by the Federal Advisory Committee. Their guidelines state that because those that might be involved in the research stand a risk of their private information being made public, grant applications and research project proposals, at least up front are handled behind closed doors.

For years, people have suffered the embarrassment of these diseases. Finally, there is relief for them. Although Zelnorm may not be right for everybody, it can help the majority of people that suffer from intestinal disorders. Only a medical doctor can perform the necessary tests to find out if Zelnorm is right for you.

 
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When diarrhea is present, recommended over the counter IBS medications may include an anti-diarrhea product like Immodium or Kaopectate. These products may reduce diarrhea, but researchers have found that they do not relieve other symptoms such as IBS pain and bloating. Both aloe and slippery elm have an anti-inflammatory effect which may relieve IBS pain. Bloating and gas may be relieved by antacids, anti-gas products or an herbal remedy. IBS medications made from herbs and botanicals often include several ingredients (several different herbs and plants) in an attempt to relieve all of the symptoms of IBS. Gastronic Dr. is one such herbal remedy.

Don't suffer in silence But it's not just about how other people perceive us, and how we perceive ourselves. It's also about making sure that anyone who has bowel symptoms seeks help, and at the moment that just doesn't happen.

Whoever you are, whatever your gender or problems or pain, it is vital that you find someone with whom you can identify. If you watch TV and never see a reflection of yourself, if you are a black man and only ever see white faces on screen, then you will start to feel alienated ' and the same goes for people who are ill.

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms typically include abdominal (stomach) pain that is relieved by a bowel movement. It is believed that the pain may be caused by muscle spasms, so anti-spasmodic medications for irritable bowel syndrome are sometimes prescribed. The idea being that reducing the muscle spasms or contractions may relieve the pain, relax the intestines and possibly prevent diarrhea. Anti-spasmodic medications, like most prescription drugs, are not intended for long term use, so a complete treatment program which includes dietary changes and other therapies may be recommended as well.

An anonymous source inside a facility that conducts Irritable Bowel Syndrome research characterized the research by saying that it falls into a gray area of scientific study. Because the research lacks moral urgency, meaning the disease isn't killing people, or putting people in the hospital for long terms, it has the potential to be one of the best commercially viable research endeavourers in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Thus most of the information and research data of any value are closely guarded.

Patsy Hamilton has over twenty years experience as a health care professional and currently writes informational articles for the Digestive Disorders Guide. Read more at http://www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

It is important to remember that if you have symptoms of IBS, you should see your doctor. IBS pain and other symptoms are similar to the symptoms of more serious health conditions. You should not attempt to treat IBS pain on your own, chronic constipation or continuous diarrhea should be reported to your doctor. For more information about IBS and other digestive problems, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

What is IBS caused by? The cause of IBS is not known. It is not believed to lead to more serious conditions, does not appear to increase the risk for colon cancer, but the symptoms are similar to those of inflammatory bowel diseases and should be evaluated by a physician. Stress is not believed to be a cause, but it does tend to worsen IBS symptoms. IBS symptoms are more common in women than men, possibly indicating that monthly hormonal changes are a cause, but this has not been proven. For more information about IBS and other digestive problems, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

Cybill Shepherd's admission, therefore, is to be applauded. Dare not speak its name Before Cybill Shepherd 'came out', the only famous person I knew of who had IBS was Kelsey Grammar's wife (Kelsey Grammar used to play Frasier in the eponymous sitcom and Cheers).

If you constantly hear about diabetes sufferers and asthma sufferers but never hear a word about bowels then you begin to learn that your illness is far less important than these other worthy causes.

Chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome are problems that have plagued millions of Americans. It is estimated that 4.5 million Americans are affected by it every year. On a worldwide basis, it is estimated that 37 million people are affect by chronic constipation every year. It strikes people from all walks of life and in all social statures. Medical research has not been able to determine why chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome occur, but new research is being conducted every day.

The power of celebrity In these celebrity-soaked times it can be easy to forget that famous people sometimes achieve genuinely selfless and compassionate things just by using their fame. The greatest power that they have is the ability to shine the light of their stardom on an issue which would otherwise have been ignored.

We may identify less with her relief from one drug alone (although the new drugs Zelnorm and Lotronex have had a good success rate in America), but we could all benefit from talking more openly with our doctors and looking for more solutions rather than accepting that IBS will rule our lives.

The treatment The first stage of treatment may involve any medications your doctor has given you to try. This could be an anti-spasmodic, which will relax the muscles in the gut walls, or perhaps a low dose of an anti-depressant, which can help to reduce the pain.

Cybill Shepherd says: 'My goal is to urge all women to get over their embarrassment, to stop suffering in silence the way I did, and to talk to their doctors. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is very important for you to be open and honest with your doctor about all your symptoms'.

Because irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both, the recommended prescriptions and over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome vary depending on the individual. For example, Zelnorm is used to treat IBS with constipation, but it should not be used by those who suffer from IBS with diarrhea.

IBS often goes undiagnosed for years, and even when we pluck up the courage to visit the doctor we can be so tongue-tied that we don't properly describe our symptoms. If we could leave our embarrassment in the waiting room it would be so much better for our health.

Over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea include Kaopectate, Imodium and other anti-diarrhea products. But though they may be effective for slowing diarrhea, they will not help to relieve the other irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms. Herbal and botanical remedies may be effective for the relief and control of IBS with diarrhea or constipation, but there is no conclusive evidence that they work. There are only user testimonials. What works for one may not work for everyone and natural does not always mean safe. Herbs and botanicals should only be purchased from reliable companies. Doctor consultation is often recommended, but most doctors know very little about herbal and botanical treatment. A better source for information may be an herbalist or doctor of naturopathic medicine.

Anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed for IBS. Depression is not commonly one of the irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms, but studies have shown anti-depressants may block pain receptors in the brain. Most prescribed medications for irritable bowel syndrome target pain relief. Stress and anxiety sometimes accompany irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms and anti-depressants may help relieve these, as well as the pain.

If Irritable Bowel Syndrome has such a devastating affect, why then isn't more information on the research being done on Irritable bowel Syndrome available? If Irritable bowel Syndrome affects so many people and causes so many missed work days, then why isn't there more research being done to find the cause and extrapolate a cure? In actuality there is a large amount of research being done. The reasons for that information not being in the public lime light are probably due to privacy issues set down by the Federal Advisory Committee.

About the Author Scott Best is a freelance author for many sites, and also an IBS sufferer. He has graciously agreed to be an occasional contributor and editor for IBS Help Site at http://ibshelpsite.com

There are still many people with bowel problems who are too ashamed or embarrassed to go to the doctor, and just soldier on through their lives when they could be receiving treatment. And there's always the risk, of course, that their symptoms could actually be the result of something other than IBS that may get progressively worse if it is left alone.

But why are the findings of Federally Funded research on Irritable bowel syndrome never made public? Why don't we hear about new developments and how the research is being developed? Why is it no new information of consequence seems to have been released about IBS in over a decade? Is it because all the research has been a "bust"? Is it possible that there are no new findings? Is the scientific community so baffled and befuddled by Irritable Bowel syndrome that no new head way has been made? Not likely, and the answer to those "why" questions might be simply answer with one word "Money".

Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a healthcare professional and currently writes informational articles for the Digestive Disorders Guide. Read more at http://www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.


 
 
     
 
 





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