“The Gut Solution” Professionals Give Radio Interview About Children and Teens with IBS.

October 30, 2015

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:

“The Gut Solution” Health Media Now interview, October 28, 2015

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.

New Rome IV Diagnostic Criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Will Include Individualized Clinical Profiles

October 11, 2015

As this blog reported in the February 23, 2015 post, in December 2014, functional gastrointestinal disorder experts from many countries, including several who are sometimes mentioned on this blog, met in Rome, Italy to complete the latest revision to the Rome criteria. The Rome criteria are the international standard used to diagnose functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some version of the Rome criteria has been in existence for nearly 25 years. Rome III, the current version, came into use in 2006. Rome IV is now in the usual process of preparation for expected publication in a gastroenterology journal by spring 2016, a decade after Rome III.

Full specific details of the improvements in Rome IV are not available yet. However, according to the Rome Foundation Rome IV Frequently Asked Questions page,  in part, “We also expect to show with Rome IV that we can finally discard the functional-organic dichotomy that tends to stigmatize these disorders. Functional GI disorders are now understood as having abnormalities in mucosal immune dysfunction and the microbiota.” (para. 2)

Also the September 2015 edition of Family Practice News, a digital publication for family practice physicians, published an article entitled “Symptom-based diagnostic criteria: A work in progress in IBS,”  which includes a significant amount of commentary from Douglas Drossman, MD, MACG. Dr. Drossman is founder and president of the Rome Foundation, founder and president of the Drossman Center for the Education and Practice of Biopsychosocial Care, co-founder and retired co-director of the University of North Carolina Center for Functional GI Disorders, along with many other pivotal roles in the development of the field over his 40+ year career.

In this interview, he introduces the newly added Multidimensional Clinical Profile (MDCP), which is incorporates 5 categories aimed at capturing individual aspects of a given patient’s situation that previous versions of the Rome criteria have not. As Dr. Drossman explainsm  Category A encompasses diagnosis, using symptom-based Rome criteria as well as any physiological criteria. Category B involves “clinical modifiers,” such as IBS subtype, any post-infective history, FODMAP sensitivity and others. Category C is the patient’s report of the degree of symptom interference with his or her life. Category D are psychosocial modifiers or comorbid conditions such as a mental health diagnosis, abuse history, if any, (one factor that research has shown is one risk factor for future development of IBS), or other medical conditions or situations that may affect how IBS symptoms present. Category E are physiological factors, such as motility, or biomarkers for IBS to be validated in the future, that may affect a specific person’s IBS. Dr. Drossman expresses the hope that the new MDCP will assist physicians in providing a more precise diagnosis and targeted treatment depending on the particular patient’s individual needs.

A  16 page MDCP Primer  in PDF format containing a fuller explanation of the MDCP and sample case studies of its future use is downloadable from the Rome Foundation website. It has been developed by Dr Drossman and 9 other members of the Rome Foundation who are all leading international authorities on various aspects of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders like IBS. They are from 7 countries: the United States, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Belgium. The primer is written for medical professionals, however, may be of interest to people with IBS or families who already have some understanding of medical terminology and the science of IBS.

The Family Practice News article linked above in the third paragraph of this blog post, also notes that the Rome Foundation will also be instituting an online, interactive platform to guide medical professionals through the diagnosis and decision making process and allow them to consult with functional gastrointestinal disorder experts around the world.

All of this news appears promising  and a reason to look forward to the unveiling of Rome IV in the near future. IBS Impact thanks all of the experts involved in Rome IV, who are constantly working to improve diagnosis, treatment, research and functional GI education for those of us who live with these conditions and the professionals who may provide care to us. With better tools and greater awareness, many more of us will experience improved quality of life.