Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammation Treatment Seattle WA

Doctors prescribe numerous medications to treat IBS, including antacids, laxatives, antidiarrheal or antispasmodic drugs, and yes, antidepressants. But none of these drugs ultimately work that well, Galland says, and as Hunter discovered, they can come with troublesome side effects.

Richard A Kozarek
(206) 223-6600
1100 9th Ave
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Gastroenterology

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Michael Schuffler
(206) 505-1101
1101 Madison St
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Gastroenterology

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Carol Sumi Murakami, MD
(206) 386-9500
515 Minor Ave Ste 200
Seattle, WA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Loyola Univ Of Chicago Stritch Sch Of Med, Maywood Il 60153
Graduation Year: 1985

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Drew Blackham Schembre, MD
(206) 341-0931
1100 9th Ave
Seattle, WA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Umdnj-New Jersey Med Sch, Newark Nj 07103
Graduation Year: 1988
Hospital
Hospital: Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, Wa
Group Practice: Virginia Mason Medical Center; Virginia Mason Medical Center Issaquah

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Pankah Rajvanshi
(206) 505-1101
1101 Madison St
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

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Chia C Wang
(206) 788-3700
720 8th Ave S
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease

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Geoffrey Charles Jiranek, MD
(206) 223-6933
1100 9th Ave
Seattle, WA
Specialties
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Dartmouth Med, Hanover Nh 03755
Graduation Year: 1981
Hospital
Hospital: Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, Wa
Group Practice: Virginia Mason Medical Center; Virginia Mason Medical Center Federal Way

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Shoba Krishnamurthy
(206) 505-1101
1101 Madison St
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

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John J Brandabur
(206) 223-6600
1100 9th Ave
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

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Lisa Lynn Strate
(206) 731-3241
325 9th Ave
Seattle, WA
Specialty
Gastroenterology

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Heal Thyself - Spotlight on Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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By Kris Wetherbee

Simone Hunter waged a serious battle against irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for the past ten years. “I got cramps, I had painful gas with constipation, and the bloating was terrible,” she says. “Just the thought of being out of the house and away from a bathroom made me tense. I was totally miserable.”

Unfortunately, her treatment only made things worse. “Foods triggered the pain, so I’d avoid eating,” she says. “But then I’d get so hungry that I’d wind up having bigger meals later on, which only brought the symptoms right back.” One doctor said the pain was all in her head—a common response to IBS until recently—so he prescribed an antidepressant and an antianxiety drug. But these only added to her suffering with a range of distressing side effects, including headaches and loss of libido.

At one point she was even put on the oral steroid prednisone—some doctors think IBS has an inflammatory component, which steroids address—but that just made her gain 30 pounds, also without relieving her discomfort. Seeing her swollen image in the mirror sent her self-esteem down the tubes, causing her stress levels to soar, which, in turn, exacerbated her symptoms.

Ten years after Hunter’s stomach trouble began, experts are still in the dark about exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome and how to cure it. “The only consensus about this condition, among conventional and alternative practitioners, is that there’s no perfect remedy,” says Leo Galland, physician and director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, in New York City. For some sufferers, an intestinal infection (parasitic or otherwise) may be the cause, in which case treatment tends to be more effective. But most people wrestling with the condition have a hypersensitive gut for no apparent reason. Symptoms vary from one person to the next (as do the triggers), but they generally include those Hunter had—only in many cases the constipation is accompanied by alternating bouts of diarrhea. As many as one in five Americans are estimated to have IBS, with women outnumbering men three to one.

Doctors prescribe numerous medications to treat IBS, including antacids, laxatives, antidiarrheal or antispasmodic drugs, and yes, antidepressants. But none of these drugs ultimately work that well, Galland says, and as Hunter discovered, they can come with troublesome side effects.

Still, there’s hope, as practitioners have begun zeroing in on the most promising ways to tame IBS. Hunter, in fact, stumbled upon a combination of remedies that appear at the top of many experts’ lists—dietary changes, stress relief, and more recently, hypnotherapy—and that have helped her keep her symptoms in check. Many people also find exercise useful, and a number of supplements and herbs can help as well. As with so many chronic conditions, there’s no real cure—but with trial and error, most people can find a regimen that allows them to keep their condition under control.

“People with IBS ne...

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