How Do I Talk to My Doctor About My IBS and IBS with Constipation Symptoms and Treatment Options?

Open communication between patients and their health care providers is vital for accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment, especially for GI conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or IBS with Constipation (IBS-C), which often present with multiple symptoms and are impacted by lifestyle factors like diet and stress. In this episode, Dr. Douglas Drossman and Johannah Ruddy of the Rome Foundation return to share their expertise in effective patient-provider communications. They explain why it's important for patients to clearly describe their symptoms and how patients can communicate with their healthcare providers even when the topic seems embarrassing. This episode also features expert tips on how patients can start the conversation with their healthcare providers about treatment options and alternatives for symptom relief when the patient feels the current treatment plan is not working.

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Featured Guests in this Episode

Dr. Douglas Drossman

Researcher & Author

Dr. Drossman has written over 500 articles and book chapters, has published two books, a GI Procedure Manual, a textbook of Functional GI disorders (Rome I, II, III), and serves on six editorial and advisory boards in gastroenterology, psychosomatic medicine, behavioral medicine, and patient health. He served 5 years as Associate Editor of the journal Gastroenterology and was the Gastroenterology Section Editor of the Merck Manual for 17 years.

Dr. Drossman’s research relates to the clinical, epidemiological, psychosocial and treatment aspects of gastrointestinal disorders. He has developed and validated several assessment measures (e.g., illness severity and quality of life questionnaires for IBD and IBS, and an abuse severity scale) for clinical research, is involved in psychosocial outcomes research, and has also studied brain imaging in IBS and abuse. His educational and clinical interests relate to the psychosocial and behavioral aspects of patient care.

Johannah Ruddy

Executive Director of the Rome Foundation

Johannah Ruddy is a national expert, researcher and writer on teaching communications skills to patients and providers and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Rome Foundation. Ms. Ruddy has 22 years of executive leadership experience working with a variety of nonprofit organizations nationwide and a strong background in writing for patients as well as a speaker at GI practices, medical centers and conferences in the area of provider communication and patient advocacy.

Ms. Ruddy has authored and co-authored eight articles on IBS, navigating the health care system and the role of gender bias in health care published in Gastroenterology, Lancet Gastroenterology, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and the Journal of Crohns & Colitis.Her new book, co-authored with Dr. Drossman, Gut Feelings- Disorders of Gut-Brain Interactions, A Guide for Patients and Doctors is now available on Amazon.

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