Who is Running Your Life? You or Your Bowel?

IFFGD Offers Information and Support to Sufferers During

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month



Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

    MILWAUKEE, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Foundation for
 Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) today announced the kick-off of
 the 4th Annual Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month.  Irritable Bowel
 Syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 15-20 percent of the U.S. population and
 is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists.  IBS is a leading
 cause of absenteeism from work.  To help sufferers understand IBS, the IFFGD
 is offering free information and support through a toll free hotline --
 1-888-964-2001.
     IBS is a disturbance of colon function usually characterized by abdominal
 discomfort, bloating and abnormal bowel movements.  The symptoms of IBS are
 wide-ranging and include chronic diarrhea or constipation, gas, bloating and
 nausea.  IBS sufferers may feel a sensation of not being able to fully empty
 their bowels.
     "Almost everyone experiences an occasional bout with abdominal pain and
 diarrhea or constipation and people may view these symptoms as normal," said
 Nancy Norton, President and Founder of IFFGD.  "What people need to understand
 is when these symptoms are chronic or recurring or when they interrupt daily
 activities, it may be a sign of IBS."
     An estimated 30 million people suffer from IBS in the United States.
 Female patients outnumber male patients by a ratio of three to one.  IBS
 occurs most commonly in women between the ages of 20 and 40.  The impact of
 IBS can range from an inconvenience to severe debilitation -- controlling many
 aspects of one's emotional, social and professional life.  Factors that can
 aggravate IBS include stress, anxiety, diet and in women, their menstrual
 cycle.
     Those experiencing symptoms of IBS are encouraged to call the IFFGD
 hotline at 1-888-964-2001 for more information.  Active the entire year from
 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM EST Monday-Friday, the staff is available to answer
 questions and provide membership literature and materials.  Additionally, the
 IFFGD offers a daily diary, which can help sufferers keep track of symptoms,
 emotional status and any medications being taken for IBS-related symptoms.
 The diary can serve as a valuable tool when discussing IBS with their
 physician.
     The key to successful diagnosis and treatment of IBS begins with education
 about the nature of the disorder.  Less than half of those who suffer with IBS
 seek treatment advice from a physician, yet it accounts for approximately 12
 percent of all visits to primary care physicians and 28 percent of
 gastroenterologist visits.
     "People need to recognize the symptoms of IBS and effectively communicate
 them with their physician.  For some, IBS can be a severely debilitating
 condition," said Douglas A. Drossman, M.D., Co-Director, UNC Center for
 Functional GI and Motility Disorders and Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry,
 Division of Digestive Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 "While there is no cure for IBS, if it is properly diagnosed and treated, a
 person's quality of life can improve dramatically."
 
     The IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization whose mission
 it is to inform, assist and support those affected by gastrointestinal
 disorders.  With an international group of experts from multiple disciplines
 who serve on the organization's medical advisory board, the IFFGD is a
 resource for anyone seeking increased knowledge about gastrointestinal
 disorders for both adults and children.  For more information call
 1-888-964-2001 or visit the IFFGD website at http://www.iffgd.org or
 http://www.aboutibs.org.
 
 

SOURCE The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
    MILWAUKEE, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Foundation for
 Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) today announced the kick-off of
 the 4th Annual Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month.  Irritable Bowel
 Syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 15-20 percent of the U.S. population and
 is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists.  IBS is a leading
 cause of absenteeism from work.  To help sufferers understand IBS, the IFFGD
 is offering free information and support through a toll free hotline --
 1-888-964-2001.
     IBS is a disturbance of colon function usually characterized by abdominal
 discomfort, bloating and abnormal bowel movements.  The symptoms of IBS are
 wide-ranging and include chronic diarrhea or constipation, gas, bloating and
 nausea.  IBS sufferers may feel a sensation of not being able to fully empty
 their bowels.
     "Almost everyone experiences an occasional bout with abdominal pain and
 diarrhea or constipation and people may view these symptoms as normal," said
 Nancy Norton, President and Founder of IFFGD.  "What people need to understand
 is when these symptoms are chronic or recurring or when they interrupt daily
 activities, it may be a sign of IBS."
     An estimated 30 million people suffer from IBS in the United States.
 Female patients outnumber male patients by a ratio of three to one.  IBS
 occurs most commonly in women between the ages of 20 and 40.  The impact of
 IBS can range from an inconvenience to severe debilitation -- controlling many
 aspects of one's emotional, social and professional life.  Factors that can
 aggravate IBS include stress, anxiety, diet and in women, their menstrual
 cycle.
     Those experiencing symptoms of IBS are encouraged to call the IFFGD
 hotline at 1-888-964-2001 for more information.  Active the entire year from
 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM EST Monday-Friday, the staff is available to answer
 questions and provide membership literature and materials.  Additionally, the
 IFFGD offers a daily diary, which can help sufferers keep track of symptoms,
 emotional status and any medications being taken for IBS-related symptoms.
 The diary can serve as a valuable tool when discussing IBS with their
 physician.
     The key to successful diagnosis and treatment of IBS begins with education
 about the nature of the disorder.  Less than half of those who suffer with IBS
 seek treatment advice from a physician, yet it accounts for approximately 12
 percent of all visits to primary care physicians and 28 percent of
 gastroenterologist visits.
     "People need to recognize the symptoms of IBS and effectively communicate
 them with their physician.  For some, IBS can be a severely debilitating
 condition," said Douglas A. Drossman, M.D., Co-Director, UNC Center for
 Functional GI and Motility Disorders and Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry,
 Division of Digestive Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 "While there is no cure for IBS, if it is properly diagnosed and treated, a
 person's quality of life can improve dramatically."
 
     The IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization whose mission
 it is to inform, assist and support those affected by gastrointestinal
 disorders.  With an international group of experts from multiple disciplines
 who serve on the organization's medical advisory board, the IFFGD is a
 resource for anyone seeking increased knowledge about gastrointestinal
 disorders for both adults and children.  For more information call
 1-888-964-2001 or visit the IFFGD website at http://www.iffgd.org or
 http://www.aboutibs.org.
 
 SOURCE  The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders