Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome Workup
AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD STAFF eadearmas@MiamiHerald.com It took June Meyer seven different gastroenterologist visits, numerous diets, medications, alternative treatments and 20 years to finally find an effective method that alleviated her symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Nothing worked for the 50-year-old clinical mental health counselor, who spent all day sitting down seeing couples and trying not to complain about her stomachaches which would start around 1 p.m. because she didnt want to play the victim. Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, impacted every aspect of her life: her career, her sexuality, her self-esteem and her self-identity. It really inhibited my ability to feel good while I was working, almost to the point where I was ready to give up my practice so I could do something where I wasnt sitting all day, she said. IBS the most common gastrointestinal disorder is caused by changes in the gastrointestinal tract, which affects bowel movements. Symptoms include abdominal pain, an alteration of bowel movements, diarrhea, constipation and bloating. Currently, there are no tests available to diagnose IBS, which is why it is considered a symptom-based diagnosed disorder. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 10 to 15 percent of the population is affected by IBS, and less than one-third of people seek care for their symptoms. Dr. Baharak Moshiree, director of the motility program at the University of Miami, says treating IBS can be very challenging because every patient has a different experience with the disorder. Although the cause of IBS is currently unknown, several factors have been said to aggravate symptoms: stress, anxiety, dairy products, legumes such as beans, and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Which came first the chicken or the egg is kind of hard to figure out, she said. What was happening before the symptoms occurred? You want to find out what factors were there before patients started having these symptoms, or if they started having these symptoms and then when they get stressed or anxious, everything gets worse.
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