zelnorm - An introduction to irritated bowel syndrome
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An introduction to irritated bowel syndrome

Irritated 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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It is very important that you receive a diagnosis of IBS from a medical professional rather than self-diagnosing, as bowel symptoms can be present in many other health conditions.

What is IBS? IBS is irritated 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.

Zelnorm is a medical breakthrough that can help millions of people with irritated bowel syndrome and chronic constipation. For those who suffer from these diseases, it is welcome news.

But why are the findings of Federally Funded research on Irritated 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 Irritated 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".

And yes, the issue may sometimes be whatever cause is most fashionable at the time - 'Gay whales against racism' as one satirist put it ' or the one which helps the star more than the people (or whales) who are suffering. But sometimes there is no doubt that the celeb has really stuck their neck out to help others who are dealing with an issue that is considered untouchable.

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.

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.

Because irritated bowel syndrome signs and symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both, the recommended prescriptions and over the counter medications for irritated 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.

Studies have shown Zelnorm does not work effectively in men who have irritated bowel syndrome and is recommended for use up to two weeks for women. Another study that was conducted involved 842 people with chronic constipation. The study was conduct for 13 months. The results were that Zelnorm increased frequency of bowel movements and lessened the severity of bloating a stomach pain.

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.

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.

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.

If a search is made of the available date on Irritated 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.

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.

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.

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

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

If Irritated Bowel Syndrome has such a devastating affect, why then isn't more information on the research being done on Irritated bowel Syndrome available? If Irritated 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.

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).

Irritated 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 irritated 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.

Finally, there are several alternative therapies which can be effective for IBS. Hypnotherapy has proved very effective, and a special form called gut-directed hypnotherapy has been developed just for digestive problems. Acupuncture may also be worth looking into.

Over the counter medications for irritated 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 irritated 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.

When IBS pain is related to constipation, doctors may recommend over the counter IBS medications, such as laxatives. But, taking laxatives may lead to diarrhea, can be habit forming and become ineffective after continued use. Aloe is a recommended herbal remedy. Irritated bowel syndrome with constipation may be relieved with products containing aloe, but may worsen diarrhea. A product containing slippery elm may be an effective herbal remedy. Irritated bowel syndrome with constipation or diarrhea may be relieved by using a product containing slippery elm. It has been used historically by native peoples to treat both constipation and diarrhea.

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.

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'.

 
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Yet little is heard in the open press about this seemingly devastating disorder, and the term devastating is in reference to its affect on GNP. There have been several sources that have stated that no other "disease" or disorder has had such an impact on the number of work days missed. Hendricks in her article states that "Only the common cold accounts for more sick days". Searching through archives at The National Center for Health Statistics no mention of IBS has could be found in any recent statistical data.

With no way to gauge results or even speculate on upcoming possibilities, the next big news break about Irritated bowel syndrome probably wont be until a some drug company takes a new wonder drug out of clinical trials and gets FDA approval to bring it to market leaving us all to wonder if any simpler, less lucrative measures of treating IBS have been passed over in pursuit of capital gain.

Chronic constipation is a disease with symptoms that include no bowel movements for up to six weeks at a time, stomach pain and bloating. It is an extremely uncomfortable feeling and often painful.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for more than 15 years. She runs
Irritated Bowel Syndrome Treatment
http://www.irritated-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read
descriptions and reviews of the treatments available for IBS,
from drugs to alternative therapy.

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.

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

Some IBS medications are heavily marketed and highly advertised. IBS has become a fairly common diagnosis, affecting as many as one in five people at some point in their lives. It is important to remember that, while many IBS medications are safe for temporary use, some may worsen symptoms and/or cause other problems when used for long periods of time. In order to relieve IBS pain, many people turn to alternatives like chiropractic or hypnotic therapies. When stress is an issue, stress management techniques may be effective for relieving IBS pain and other symptoms. Regular exercise may be an effective alternative to IBS medications. Exercising stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain, which block pain and improve mood. And, of course dietary changes may be the most effective.

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.

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.

Irritated bowel syndrome signs and symptoms may include excessive gas, bloating or feeling that the stomach is swollen. If these symptoms are present, recommended over the counter medications for irritated bowel syndrome may include Gas-X or other anti-gas products. Herbs and botanicals designed to prevent or relieve gas are also available.

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).

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

Because of the enormity of the effect that Irritated bowel syndrome has, and the vast number of people who suffer, the amount of potential money to be made could be an astronomical figure should a new development that leads to a cure or to the discovery of an actual cause be found

Chronic constipation and irritated 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 irritated bowel syndrome occur, but new research is being conducted every day.

And I can't thing of a more untouchable issue than IBS, something that no-one in the public eye would readily admit to. Can you imagine Julia Roberts standing up and saying 'Diarrhea is the blight of my life and hemorrhoids have driven me to drink'? No, of course not, because anything remotely digestive is considered highly embarrassing and distinctly unglamorous.

She says: 'For years I have been battling recurring constipation, abdominal pain and bloating. Go ahead and laugh. We laugh because we're embarrassed. In order for us to get relief, we have to talk about our symptoms and stop suffering in silence. 'I have tried nearly everything: changing my diet and watching what I ate. I exercised regularly. I even tried taking fiber supplements and over-the-counter laxatives, but nothing helped with all of my symptoms.

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

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.

What is IBS with diarrhea treated with? Treatment options for IBS symptoms when diarrhea is present are as numerous as those for constipation. Doctors may suggest over the counter anti-diarrhea products like Kaopectate. Medications to reduce muscle spasms may be prescribed. Herbal remedies are available. Hypnosis was shown to be effective in one study. Stress management, anti-depressants, dietary and lifestyle changes may all be effective for relieving IBS symptoms with diarrhea.

Zelnorm is available by prescription only. When you first start taking Zelnorm, it is important to advise your doctor if there are any symptoms or complications you may have. Your doctor may perform tests to make sure that there are no underlying medical conditions.

What is IBS with constipation treated with? There are many treatment options for IBS symptoms when constipation is present. An increase in dietary fiber and water are usually the first recommendations. If IBS symptoms are not relieved, doctors may recommend laxatives, but only for short-term use. A botanical supplement containing aloe is often recommended, because it is gentler than stimulant laxatives and is not habit-forming. Diet and lifestyle changes are often recommended, as is stress management, if stress is a problem. Alternative therapies such as hypnosis and chiropractic have been effective for relieving IBS symptoms in some people. Anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed because they block pain and may relax stomach muscles. Zelnorm, a prescription medication for women who have IBS symptoms with constipation, is sometimes prescribed, but it can have serious side-effects.

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 "Irritated 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.

Zelnorm was developed in 2002 and is the first medication that was approved for treating chronic constipation in people under the age of sixty-five years old in 2004.

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 Irritated 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?

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.

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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