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Showing posts from April, 2013

Gut Directed Hypnotherapy for IBS

Today is the last day of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, which brings attention to a chronic condition that impacts up to 20% of the U.S. population.  I've spent a lot of time working with IBS patients and know from their stories how awful of a condition it can be.  Unfortunately there aren't many treatment options available, especially in terms of pharmacological interventions.  Many of the IBS medications are not much better than placebo in controlling symptoms, and some have even been pulled from the market due to safety concerns.  Thankfully emerging data on the effectiveness of other treatments are offering hope for those affected by IBS who have, to date, struggled with getting it under control.

I saw on Twitter today a new research study on the effectiveness of Gut Directed Hypnotherapy for IBS.  Gut directed what?

Hypnotherapy, contrary to stage, TV, and movies, is a treatment that is widely used for a variety of maladies.  It gained considerable attent…

Guest Post: Navigating the World of IBD Diets

We're thrilled to have a guest post by Beth Doerfler, MS, RD, LDN who writes about specialized diets and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  I've known Beth for almost a decade now, and she is truly a great dietitian with leading expertise on the role of diet in chronic digestive conditions.  She's also just an all around awesome human being.  Beth and I worked together at Northwestern in the Center for Psychosocial Research in GI, where she sees patients in the gastroenterology division and helps them adjust to eating with a less than stellar digestive system.  Thank you, Beth, for this great article!

Is there a specialized diet for IBD? Yes and no. Contradictory as it may sound, you have likely met with health professionals and family who have said “diet has nothing to do with your Crohns or colitis…eat whatever you can tolerate”. On the other hand, you can’t help but find great testimonials about people who have tried specialized diets like gluten free or the specific …

Versatile Blogger Award? What?

When I woke up this morning....I heard a disturbing sound.  Wait, brain, stop quoting The Blues Brothers.

When I woke up this morning and checked my email I found a very pleasant note that we've been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award  by our fellow-blogger, Amanda Kasper.  Check out her blog about her journey with chronic illness. This is pretty swell and a great way to kick off a weekend.  It's always nice to be recognized for the work we do, so a big thank you to Amanda for nominating us!

Part of being nominated includes us sharing 7 things about ourselves. Since it's Friday, and considering the events still unfolding in our country, I figure a little levity is in order. Here goes nothing:
1. When I was in 1st grade and we were all sitting around our teacher, Miss Zurich, as she read a story to us, I let go a rather loud fart.  Then I tried to play it off like it wasn't me and was incredibly embarrassed.  Miss Zurich gave me a hug and said that everyone toots…

Some Thoughts on Boston

Yet another day of incessant news coverage of carnage, this time affecting our friends in Boston at its annual marathon and Patriot's Day celebration.  I'm not going to use this space to express my opinion on what happened.  Lord knows there are plenty of armchair FBI agents and tinfoil hat wearers on the internet to keep you occupied for a month.

I'm a runner.  I'm sitting on my sofa in my 13.1 shirt from the first half marathon I did in Chicago in 2010.  There's something strange about putting your body through a longer distance run.  My husband was just questioning my sanity the other day when I said I was considering another half this year, the Chicago CCFA Team Challenge event, after I'd sworn them off after my 2nd one last year as being painful, torturous events that only a fool would do.  I have no aspirations to do 26.2, and have great reverence for those who do.

Thinking about organized running events and the finish lines along the chute that you pass…

The Search for Meaning

When I was in grad school, I read "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl.  If you haven't heard of him, Dr. Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist that was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto in the Czech Republic in 1942 with his wife and parents.  He spent time in Auschwitz, where his mother and brother died. Dr. Frankl was separated from his wife when he was moved to a satellite camp of Dachau (Turkheim) while she was sent to a different camp, where she later died.

In "Man's Search for Meaning" Dr. Frankl tells the story of his life in Nazi concentration camps in vivid detail, but what is so striking about his writing is how he explored one seemingly simple concept - attitude - and how this often made the difference between life and death in the camp.  Those who were able to accept their circumstances as beyond their control while seeking some form of meaning in their experiences fared far better than those who fell into depression and despair.


Research Roundup: 4/2/13

It's been a while since I did a review of some of the more interesting research studies that have been published in the past few months.  This week we focus on how our ancient brain may affect obesity, using text messaging with HIV patients, what IBD patients believe about diet, and what therapy with parent-caregivers actually may help with.  On with the show...

What do IBD patients believe about diet and their disease?  A study published in the January edition of the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that 58% of participants believed that what they ate could cause a relapse, and 16% thought that diet could be a cause of IBD.  The majority of people (2 in 3) modified their diet, especially when experiencing symptoms, and half said that IBD had caused eating to be less enjoyable.  Foods that are most likely to be avoided are fruits and vegetables, spicy food, dairy, and high fat foods.  Diet changes had a substantial impact on their social life, including not eating out or h…