Digestive Disease Project

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  • Joe had been experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, and alternate bouts of diarrhea and constipation for several weeks. He avoided going to the doctor since he was convinced it was due to indigestion. However, one day he couldn't take the pain anymore and booked an appointment with his doctor.
  • After listening to his symptoms, his doctor conducted a physical exam and examined his medical and family history. She also took a blood and stool sample. Several days later, she called Joe to the office and told him he has Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS.
  • She then explained that the Syndrome is a group of symptoms related to the large intestine. Normally, its job is to absorb water from waste products while transporting them to the anus.  However, the disorder causes the muscle walls of the large intestines to either move the waste too fast or too slow.
  • Joe's doctor went on, saying that she isn't sure what caused his IBS. Perhaps it was simply due to faulty nerves between his brain and large intestines, since his blood didn't show any signs of infection and his history was clean. Joe, still feeling pain, asked if there's any treatment or prevention methods.
  • His doctor told him to eat more fiber and recommended the FODMAP diet. Since emotional stress can trigger IBS, she advised him to take time for himself everyday and relax. Finally, since IBS is not serious and life-threatening, she simply prescribed some laxatives and loperamide and sent him home.
  • Joe was unsure and a bit alarmed about his disorder, so he decided to look online for information. His research confirmed what his doctor said. Additionally, he found out that young people, females, and those with mental health problems are more likely to get IBS., and up to 15% of the population has it.
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