Understanding and Controlling the Irritable Bowel PDF

Understanding and Controlling the Irritable Bowel PDF



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Preface

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects up to one-fifth of the Western world. In addition to those who are diagnosed with IBS, there are many undiagnosed patients who ignore their symptoms and consider them simply to be a part of their everyday life. These individuals never visit healthcare centers or meet with a doctor in relation to their condition. The true number of individuals suffering from IBS is therefore much greater than that reported in the literature.
Despite undergoing several tests and examinations, and after repeated contact with their healthcare providers, many IBS sufferers are dissatisfied with their management and feel that they are either misunderstood or regarded as hypochondriacs or mentally ill. There is a widespread belief in society and among healthcare providers that IBS is unimportant since it is not a life-threatening disease. Furthermore, the consequences of suffering from IBS are often ignored; the considerable reduction in the patient’s quality of life as a result of IBS, which may lead to social isolation, quitting work, and broken relationships, should not be underestimated.
Many IBS patients worry that their symptoms are either caused by a serious disease or that they will develop into a serious disease over time. Access to reliable information about IBS is important to both IBS patients and their healthcare providers. Some studies have shown that IBS patients who are not provided with support are able to correctly avoid some foodstuffs that can aggravate their symptoms, but they may replace them with items that are even worse. Several studies have shown that providing IBS-directed information to patients will improve their symptom and quality of life considerably.
We believe that information about IBS to both physicians and patients is important. In 2012 we wrote a book about IBS that was aimed at physicians, with a view to updating their knowledge base and informing them about the progress that has been made in our understanding of IBS and its management. The aims of the present book are to provide information directly to IBS patients, including providing them with strategies for controlling or managing the condition.


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