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Digestive Disorders: Facts & Figures

Most people suffer from some sort of digestive disorders during their lifetime. It might be the common and less serious digestive system disorders like constipation, diarrhea, heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome or something more serious like acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis and Chron's disease. Digestive disorders and diseases affected 60 to 70 million Americans in 1996 according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2002, 234,000 deaths were attributed to digestive system disorders and diseases. While more than 27,000 of these were due to liver disease or cirrhosis, there were 121 deaths that were caused by constipation, which is typically not one of the serious or life threatening digestive disorders.


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Irritable bowel syndrome can affect both men and women, young and old but is mainly prevelant in young women. It is quite a common condition with around twenty-five percent of people likely to suffer from it at some point in their life.

Overall your treatment options for irritable bowel syndrome will ultimately depend on your own specific form of the condition, and your doctor will generally advise you on the best course of action. The important point to remember is that although there is no outright cure, there are a number of different ways you can help fight the condition so you can live a relatively normal life free of any discomfort.

In 1990, 20% of the U.S. population suffered from acid reflux symptoms at least twice a week. Next to simple occasional heartburn, this may be the most common of all the digestive disorders. A recent study showed that 25% of all Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month. In 2002, 710,000 people were hospitalized due to acid reflux and other related esophageal disorders. There are no figures available on the number of dollars that Americans spend per year treating the digestive system disorders acid reflux and heartburn. This is due largely to the fact that many people treat these digestive disorders with over the counter antacids or other non-prescription medications and some people do not seek treatment at all.

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.

Other possible treatment options include aloe vera which will help boost your immune system, and therefore may help to ease the symptoms, and anti-depressants if the disease is said to be a result of stress. Another possible treatment is psychotherapy and hypnotherapy which has been known to help treat the disease in some instances.

nausea If you are in any doubt or think that you may have irritable bowel syndrome you should book yourself an appointment with your doctor straight away. Never think that you may be wasting their time, this is important and you need them to confirm it to you one way or the other.

Let's first of all discuss the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Every individual is different and may have different symptoms but the most common symptoms are abdominal pains, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, uncomfortable bowel movements, and it may also cause vomiting as well. In all it's not a nice condition because your bowel seems particularly over-sensitive and will often force you to make frequent visits to the toilet whilst causing a lot of discomfort at the same time.

About the author:
Paul Gustafson RN, BSN, CH runs HealthyHypnosis.com of
Burlington, Massachusetts. His 11 years of acute cardiac and
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If you believe that you suffer from one of the digestive system disorders or diseases, it is important to seek help. If you know that you suffer from one of the digestive disorders, it is important to get treatment. Most of the common digestive system disorders can be controlled and treated. If left untreated some of the fairly common digestive disorders can lead to more serious health problems. For more information about specific digestive system disorders and disease, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS for short, is a particularly unpleasant condition caused by a number of symptoms affecting the area around the bowel, gut or intestines. It is a condition that cannot be completely cured, but it can be effectively treated and kept at bay to a large extent.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastro-intestinal (GI) condition with no known cause or cure. It causes the GI tract to move too quickly (hypermotility) or too slowly (hypomotility) and the resulting symptoms include any one or a combination of the following: diarrhea, constipation, cramping, gas, pain or bloating. Symptoms usually run in cycles lasting for days, months or years. IBS can be disabling making sufferers feel like prisoners in their own home. IBS affects 35 million Americans, 4 of 5 are women, and it is more prevalent than asthma, diabetes, acid reflux and depression combined. There are likely millions who never pursue treatment due to embarrassment. 10% of all primary care physician visits are IBS related. It is the 2nd leading cause for employee absenteeism and costs the US 8 billion dollars/year. Diagnosing IBS is a process of exclusion which means a physician needs to rule out conditions such as lactose intolerance, Chron's disease, bacterial infections, parasites, dumping syndrome, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac and gallbladder disease before a diagnosis of IBS can be determined. The onset of symptoms ranges between the ages of 20-29 in adults and 9-11 in children. Onset of symptoms can sometimes be traced back to a traumatic event, illness, injury or accident. Some clients just begin having symptoms early in life for no apparent reason at all. IBS is also known to be familial. Many IBS sufferers go through life with no idea of what normal gastro-intestinal function is like. IBS symptoms can be aggravated by stress, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, foods high in animal or vegetable fat, beverages containing dyes, artificial sweeteners, food or medication sensitivities or hormone fluctuation but none are the cause. Some research indicates that IBS sufferers may have an abundance of specialized cells in the intestinal tract making them more reactive and sensitive. Irregular GI motility is responsible for the discomfort and inconsistent bowel movements. If the GI tract moves too quickly the body doesn't get enough time to absorb what it needs resulting in diarrhea. If it moves too slowly the body absorbs too much resulting in constipation. This erratic pattern can dramatically affects how nutrients are absorbed and how effective the colon absorbs waste out of the blood stream. (1) Traditional medical intervention includes high fiber diets, antispasmodics to relieve cramping and spasms; antidepressants to relieve the emotional burden and antidiarrhea medication. Research indicates that this approach offers symptom relief to only 25%. Because IBS is not life threatening, is not a precursor to acute illness and is undetectable with diagnostic equipment, sufferers are usually told they have to live with it. Hypnosis is the process of accessing subconscious thought which is the control center. The reason hypnosis is so effective for weight loss and smoking cessation is because the subconscious is where all of our habits, patterns, values and beliefs reside. Clients can be empowered to reframe their view of nutrition, exercise and to release unhealthy patterns in favor more positive ones. The subconscious mind also regulates our body's inner network of complicated mechanisms. It regulates our heart and respiratory rate, co-ordinates every step we take and controls the thousands of metabolic functions everyday of our lives. With unique access to this immensely powerful place hypnosis can positively redirect specific areas of GI function. Hypnosis as a treatment for IBS has been researched for 20 years and although it does not offer a cure it stands alone as the most significant long term symptom relief solution. The success rate of hypnosis relieving IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation is consistently high ranging from 70-95%. Symptom relief usually lasts at least two years. Clients who do not respond as well to hypnosis treatment for IBS relief are those over 50 years of age, who are less open to process of hypnosis, those with psychiatric disorders, and one study indicates males with diarrhea as their major symptom. (2) For decades hypnosis has been one of the most misunderstood and overlooked holistic sciences but that is changing quickly. The best way to gain acceptance by the mainstream medical community is with the empirical evidence from scientific research. For 20 years researchers like Olafur S. Palsson, Peter Whorwell, William Gonsalkorale and L.A. Houghton have been studying the benefits of hypnosis for symptoms of IBS. The following are brief descriptions of some of their findings. One study compared 25 severe IBS clients treated with hypnosis to 25 patients with similar symptom severity treated with other methods. The hypnosis group showed that in addition to significant IBS symptom improvement they had fewer MD visits, lost less work time and rated an improved quality of life. Hypnosis clients unable to work before treatment went back to work afterwards. The study shows the economic benefits and improved health-related quality of life. (3) Another study which is the largest to date followed 250 IBS clients who were treated with 12 hypnosis sessions over a 3-month period and they also listened to recorded sessions at home. The conclusions showed dramatic improvement in all IBS symptoms. The average reduction in symptoms was more than 50% as well as increased quality of life and relief from anxiety and depression. (4) Lastly, the longest study to date treated and followed 204 IBS clients for up to 6 years. 71% showed immediate improvement, and 81% of this group was still improved years later. Quality of life scores were also still significantly improved at follow-up. Patients had less MD visits and required less medication long-term after hypnotherapy. Results indicate that most hypnosis clients benefit for at least five years. (5) (1) Melissa J. Roth C.Ht., Ph.D.; Hypnosis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (2) Olafur S. Palsson, Psy.D. Hypnosis Treatment of IBS, Participate, fall 2002 (3) Houghton LA; Heyman DJ; Whorwell PJ.Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 1996 Feb. (4) Gonsalkorale WM, Houghton LA, Whorwell PJ. Am J Gastroenterol 2002 (5) Gonsalkorale WM, Miller V, Afzal A, Whorwell PJ. Gut. 2003 Nov.

 
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Figures are available for the number of prescriptions written for some of the digestive system disorders and diseases. 2.2 million Prescriptions were written for irritable bowel syndrome in 1985. And this is somewhat surprising, because currently the only prescription medication available for irritable bowel syndrome has only been proven effective for treating women. A million prescriptions were written in 1985 for constipation relief. Chronic constipation is sometimes a symptom of other digestive system disorders. For example, constipation or diarrhea may be present in irritable bowel syndrome.

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Over 1700 deaths were attributed to GERD, which is one of the digestive system disorders that can be effectively treated and controlled with medication, or herbal supplements, dietary and/or lifestyle changes. 825 deaths were due to ulcerative colitis and Chron's, which are digestive disorders called inflammatory bowel diseases and 22 were attributed to irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is another one of the digestive system disorders that can be treated and controlled by using dietary supplements and making dietary and lifestyle changes, including stress management.

As regards the cause of IBS, no-one really knows but a common theory is that it is largely brought on by stress. Some experts also believe it is a result of an abnormality in the immune system. Whatever the cause the good news is that IBS can be effectively treated, even though there is not one outright cure.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: pain constipation diarrhoea abdominal bloating headaches bladder problems

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is basically a common gut disorder which is not one of the major health conditions to worry about. Therefore if you are told that you have irritable bowel syndrome do not panic, it is not life threatening and cannot result in cancer or serious intestinal disease.

Treatments for irritable bowel syndrome Your doctor is the best person to advise you on potential treatments for your own individual condition but constipation and diarrhoea may be controlled via laxatives.

You should consult your doctor if you believe you have the disease and they will discuss the treatment options with you. They will usually discuss your diet and whether you can make any changes in order to improve the condition, such as increasing the fibre in your diet, before going on to specific treatments.

Are you looking for information and advice about irritable bowel syndrome? Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome? Would you like to understand more about the causes of irritable bowel syndrome? If you have answered yes to any of the above questions then this article could well be of interest to you.

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This may seem reassuring to people who suffer from this condition and to their friends and families but this does not mean everything, irritable bowel syndrome can be very uncomfortable and painful for those who have it. It can also be quite unpredictable as for many weeks the affects can be quite minimal but then people may have a short period of severe discomfort. This can be very stressful and worrying for people as it makes them wonder why it has suddenly become worse. Many negative thoughts can then go through our heads with our demons trying to make us believe that things are far worse than they actually are. In reality this period of severe pain is likely to pass within a few days but is unfortunately likely to return within a few weeks. As I said it can be an unpredictable and frustrating condition to have.

Irritable bowel syndrome is thought to be caused from a combination of factors including stress, depression, hormonal factors, food allergies, overactivity in the gut and overactivity of nerves and muscles in the intestines.

These may be specific to your own unique form of the condition and may include general treatments such as laxatives if you have constipation and anti-diarrheals if you suffer from diarrhoea. You may also be given specific drugs to reduce the spasms in your bowel that is responsible for much of your discomfort.

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Fiber supplements can be tremendously beneficial for IBS sufferers. Although supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are generally marketed as laxatives, and are very useful for constipation sufferers, they can also be used to combat diarrhea because they add bulk to the diet and can make waste food more solid. These supplements are not really medications most are simply fiber products...


Suffering from the irratable bowel syndrome can be very annoying. The IBS is a gastro intestinal condition that manifests through episodes of diarrhea and/or constipation, associated with acute abdominal pain. Medics find it quite difficult to set up a diagnosis as there is no apparent cause and the symptoms can be associated with a series of other gastro intestinal conditions. People...


Irritable Bowel syndrome is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in medical treatment of disorders of the stomach and intestines) and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians. In gastroenterology, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating relieved by...


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It is estimated that around one fifth of all Americans suffer from the irritable bowel syndrome. The main symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and nausea. These symptoms are not the same for all sufferers and they are not even consistent in time. You may be bothered by diarrhea or constipation for a few days, and the following days you feel all right. That is why it is difficult to...


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