Stories about: irritable bowel syndrome

A diagnosis of dysautonomia sheds new light on Sarah’s pain

Sarah in Wyoming after being treated for dysautonomia.

Sarah exudes vivaciousness and warmth. When describing her favorite activities, mainly swimming and rugby, her energy is infectious. It is hard to imagine that someone as lively as Sarah has been suffering from chronic pain her whole life.

Since she was little, Sarah has struggled with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a common intestinal disorder that causes stomach pain and colon issues. However, it wasn’t until her junior year of college that she started experiencing symptoms that were no longer recognizable. “My local gastroenterologist kept giving me treatments that weren’t doing anything,” Sarah remembers. “So it kind of occurred to me and my parents after a while that maybe this is more of a brain-thing than a stomach-thing.”

Sarah started experiencing extreme fatigue, nausea, and vertigo. She tried to write off her symptoms as normal bodily functions, but when the migraines started, she knew something was indisputably wrong.

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Comic relief

med book
Medical terminology can be confusing for many patients, especially children.

Have you ever suffered a medical nightmare like this?

“Patient displays an acute communicable disease with an incubation period of 2 or 3 weeks and caused by herpesvirus, usually found in children. Manifestations include coryza, fever, malaise, and headache, followed in 2 or 3 days by the eruption of macular vesicles.”

Chances are you have. The above paragraph is just a complicated description of a common childhood virus: chicken pox. In most cases doctors are happy to act as medical translators for their patients— explaining complicated medical terminology in every day language— but when it comes to written material, many medical publications rely heavily on industry jargon. It can be intimidating and confusing to patients, especially kids.

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Health headlines: Sports injuries, lazy ear and lice

Sports injuryOther stories we’ve been reading:

Be sure to keep liquid detergent capsules out of your kids’ reach. Scientists find out why Vitamin D is important. [Read how children are at risk of a Vitamin D deficiency.]There’s a jump in kids’ sports injuries due to overuse. [Read about how girls’ soccer injuries are preventable.]

Twenty percent of U.S. babies don’t get the hepatitis B vaccine. A Canadian vaccine study proves the idea of “herd community.” [Read about this year’s vaccine schedule.] A new drug could help protect against treatment-resistant lice.

Parents can help prevent bullying by modeling kindness and empathy. [Find out how to address bullying.] Girls start bullying at a younger age.

Special needs kids are often uninsured. Can a behavioral optometrist help kids with “issues?”

A consumer groups gives food advertisers an “F” on kids. Taxing soda and pizza could help consumers lose five pounds a year. Schools are serving less sugary drinks. [Read about artificially sweetened beverages.]

A stomach bug can raise a child’s risk of having irritable bowel syndrome. Temporary hearing impairment leads to lazy ear.

Peanut allergies are linked to worse asthma in kids. A family finds success using a pediatric obesity program.

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