Last year, on June 27, 2014, IBS Impact reviewed on this blog The Gut Solution for Parents with Children Who Have Recurrent Abdominal Pain and Irritable Bowel Syndrome by Michael Lawson, M.D. and Jessica Del Pozo, PhD, (Lemke Health Partners:2013). This book is, to our knowledge, one of very few published specifically for families and a general audience on assisting children and adolescents with irritable bowel syndrome. Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), also known as functional abdominal pain (FAP) is a specific medical diagnosis that involves chronic abdominal pain similar to that in IBS but does not include disturbances in bowel movements and is treated similarly to IBS pain.
Dr. Lawson is a board-certified gastroenterologist educated in both Australia and the United States who is currently practicing at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, is a Clinical Professor at the University of California at Davis and has volunteered in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Cambodia as part of his interest in multicultural medicine. Dr. Del Pozo is a licensed clinical psychologist, also at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, who focuses on assisting those with chronic illnesses, including IBS and other chronic pain conditions. For fourteen years, she and Dr. Lawson have collaborated as part of a multidisciplinary team treating school-aged children and teens with IBS or RAP/FAP. They use the SEEDS Program, which was developed by Dr. Lawson. SEEDS stands for Stress management, Education and communication, Exercise, Diet and Sleep, which the authors claim has been successful in reducing IBS or RAP/FAP symptoms long-term for the vast majority of several hundred youth who have participated since the program’s inception. This protocol has been presented at Digestive Disease Week, a large, well known annual international conference for professionals in the field of gastroenterology.
Earlier this week, Drs. Lawson and DelPozo were interviewed on Blog Talk Radio/Health Media Now. The interview runs a bit more than 46 minutes and covers a basic explanation of the brain-gut connection and the role of stress and food, discussion of some (though not all) treatment options, ways parents and other family members can support the child at home and school, and how exercise and/or proper sleep can help in the possible reduction of symptoms. Although the focus of Drs. Lawson and DelPozo’s current work is on youth, both are also experienced with adults with IBS and many of the subtopics listed. above are also of potential interest and help to adults with IBS as well. The audio archive of the interview can be accessed here:
Reputable research has estimated that approximately 6% of middle school students and 14% of teens are diagnosed with IBS. While among adults, approximately twice as many women are diagnosed compared to men, among children, boys and girls are affected in about equal numbers. IBS Impact believes that many parents or guardians will find Drs. Lawson and Del Pozo’s advice useful to them to some extent, though not all aspects of the SEEDS protocol or the parenting advice will necessarily apply equally to all children or all family situations. IBS Impact encourages parents to use the portions that appear to be helpful to them and their child in conjunction with their child’s own health care providers. We also encourage families to continue learning from other reputable sources. IBS Impact’s main website has a specific page dedicated to children with IBS and another page for family and friends. In addition, most resources on the other pages of the main site, this blog and social media are applicable to both children and adults with IBS,
Although IBS Impact received an early PDF version of The Gut Solution prior to the past review, we receive no funding for the review, this followup post, or for any sales of the book. As with all of the information on this blog, our main website and social media, this post is provided in the interest of scientifically accurate public awareness and assisting blog readers dealing with IBS to make informed choices for themselves or their families.