IBS or IBD picture of woman with stomach pains

When it comes to the world of gastrointestinal diseases, you may hear a lot of acronyms such as IBD and IBS. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broad term that refers to chronic swelling (inflammation) of the intestines. It’s often confused with the non-inflammatory condition irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although similar in name symptoms, they have distinct differences.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is extremely common. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders estimates that it affects up to 15 percent of the American population. IBS symptoms are also the most common reason patients seek out a gastroenterologist.

Most people with IBS will never develop IBD. Still, a person who has been diagnosed with IBD may display IBS-like symptoms. You can have both conditions at the same time, and both are considered chronic (ongoing) conditions.

IBD comes in the form of:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • indeterminate colitis

What causes IBS?

Unlike IBD, IBS isn’t classified as a true disease. Instead it’s known as a “functional disorder.” This means that the symptoms don’t have an identifiable cause. Contrary to popular belief, IBS isn’t a psychological condition. IBS has physical symptoms, but there is no known cause.

The basic cause of IBS is unknown, but researchers have found that the colon muscle in people with IBS contracts more readily than in people without IBS. A number of factors can “trigger” IBS, including certain foods, medicines, and emotional stress. Since the inflammation of IBD is absent in people with IBS, it’s difficult for researchers to understand the precise causes of the latter condition. One notable difference is that IBS is almost always exacerbated by stress. Stress reduction techniques may help. Consider trying:

  • meditation
  • exercise
  • yoga
  • talk therapy

What are the symptoms of IBS and IBD?

People with IBS show no clinical signs of a disease and often have normal test results. Although both conditions can occur in anyone at any age, it seems to run in families.

IBS is characterized by a combination of:Compare Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Copay to WellRx pricing

  • abdominal pain
  • cramps
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

IBD can cause the same symptoms, and additionally:

  • eye discomfort
  • extreme fatigue
  • joint pain
  • rectal bleeding

Both can cause urgent bowel movements.

Treatment Options

If you suspect you have IBS or IBD, it is important to see your health care provider. Your provider should review your medical history and perform a physical examination. To diagnose IBD, one or more of the following tests might be ordered

  • stool samples
  • blood tests
  • colonoscopy with biopsies
  • CT scanning

IBS may be treated with certain medications such as intestinal antispasmodics, like hyoscyamine (Levsin) or dicyclomine HCL (Bentyl), or with an anticholinergic and barbiturate combination (Donnatal).

Dietary and lifestyle changes seem to help the most. People with IBS should avoid aggravating their condition with fried and fatty foods and caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

IBS and IBD may seem to share similar symptoms, but these are two different conditions with very different treatment requirements. A gastroenterologist can help determine your specific condition and offer the best treatment plan and resources to help you manage symptoms.


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There’s no known cure for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a common disorder that often starts in childhood, but is sometimes not diagnosed until adulthood. It is important for parents to remember that ADHD can be successfully managed. There are many treatment options, so parents should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s life—healthcare providers, therapists, teachers, and family members.

For children 6 years of age and older, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends both behavior therapy and medication as good options, preferably both together. For young children (under 6 years of age) with ADHD, behavior therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment, before medication is tried. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring of whether and how much the treatment helps the child’s behavior, and making changes as needed along the way. You can learn more about the AAP recommendations for treatment of children with ADHD by visiting the Centers for Disease Control ADHD Recommendations page.

Behavior therapy for young children: Training for parents

Behavior therapy as the first line of treatment for preschool-aged children (4–5 years of age) with ADHD. Parent training in behavior therapy has the most evidence of being effective, but teachers and early childhood caregivers can use behavior therapy in the classroom as well.

Why should parents try behavior therapy first, before medication?

Behavior therapy is an important first step because:

  • Behavior therapy gives parents the skills and strategies to help their child.
  • Behavior therapy has been shown to work as well as medication for ADHD in young children.
  • Young children have more side effects from ADHD medications than older children.
  • The long-term effects of ADHD medications on young children have not been well-studied.

A review of treatment results found enough evidence to recommend parent training in behavior therapy as a solid treatment option for children under six years old with ADHD symptoms and for disruptive behavior, in general.

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Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants are the most commonly prescribed class of ADHD drugs. The parents and their doctor should decide together on which medication is best for their child and whether the child needs medication during school hours only or on evenings and weekends as well.

Common CNS stimulants include:

Nonstimulant medications:

Nonstimulant medications are often considered when stimulants haven’t worked or have caused intolerable side effects. Nonstimulant medications used to treat ADHD include atomoxetine (Strattera) and antidepressants like nortriptyline HCI (Pamelor).

Support Groups

Support groups are great for helping parents of children with ADHD to connect with others who may share similar experiences, concerns, and successes. Support groups typically meet regularly so relationships and support networks can be built. Knowing you’re not alone in dealing with ADHD can be a huge relief. Support groups can also be a great resource for specialist recommendations and practical strategies, especially if you are a parent of a child newly diagnosed with ADHD.

Extracurricular Activities

Children with ADHD often thrive with activities that channel their energy productively. Classes, like art, music or dance lessons, or martial arts classes can also be a source of positive reward and foster mental discipline. Find out what your child is interested in and remember, don’t force them into anything.

Reference:
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/guidelines.html
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/treatment.html 
https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-treatment-care


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Photo of man sarching for reliable health information on the internet

Have you ever found yourself Googling your symptoms when you are sick? A few clicks later and you find yourself absorbing information that correlates with your symptoms and you have convinced yourself that you have this condition and only months to live? I have realized that Googling your symptoms when you are ill is a surefire way to convince yourself that you are dying.

The advent of the internet opened the door for information to be accessible by anyone. Anything and everything you wanted to know can be found online. The problem is, not everything you read or find online is true, honest, or correct. My goal in this blog is to encourage you to think critically and use caution when looking online for medical information.

Below is a list of some resources that I would recommend to my patients wanting to become more familiar with medications, illnesses/conditions, and herbal products and supplements. I encourage you to be proactive in your health and talk with your doctor and pharmacist regularly.

Each resource below is a bit different in regards to content and you will have to find out which one works best for you.

Some resources that may be beneficial to you with trusted medical information include, but are not limited to:

I hope this information can help guide you to understanding your health better and become a trusted resource for you and your family.

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