Radio Shows | Irritable Bowl Syndrome - IBS | mp3 … wma … wav
Irritable Bowel Disease is a family of diseases people are not comfortable discussing because gastrointestinal problems don't exactly make good conversation.
They range from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, to the more serious ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. IBS is so common one in five US adults have it.
It's milder than the other irritable bowel diseases but can be disabling and chronic.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and sometimes constipation. The cause of IBS is problems with intestinal muscle movement and a sensitive large intestine.
You may be surprised to know IBS strikes young women ages 20 to 35 and 2-3X more than men. It often runs in families suggesting a genetic link. And aside from physical discomforts, IBS can stunt a person's social life - limiting outings and vacations.
The other two in the family of irritable bowel diseases are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
They're called IBD or inflammatory bowel diseases and cause intestinal swelling, inflammation and bleeding. Crohn's usually affects the lower small intestine and colon while ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon.
About one million Americans have IBD and they're mostly between 15 and 35 years old. Statistics also show American Jews of European descent are 4 to 5 times more likely to suffer from IBD.
Curiously, our own immune system is to blame.
Scientists still do not know the cause of IBD but believe the immune system gets turned on and won't shut off. Treatment involves drugs, surgery and advanced cases end with colorectal cancer.
There's hope genetic work will lead to effective treatment.
Scientists at UCLA have already identified a gene called the IL-23 receptor which when targeted by drugs inhibits the immune system and curbs the inflammation.
The chronic nature of these diseases can lead to depression so it's important for patients to find support.
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