The family physician plays an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and management of GI disorders. Interestingly, however, only 30% of individuals with IBS consult a physician about their symptoms.6 This may reflect patients’ tendency to tolerate symptoms that are episodic and variable, to be reluctant to discuss IBS symptoms with their doctor, or to self-medicate, given the large amount of over-the-counter drugs that claim to offer symptom relief. Unfortunately, unguided use of such medications can compound the problem while temporarily masking a symptom of something more serious.
Many sufferers simply adjust to their “new normal.” But chronic abdominal pain/discomfort, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating are never normal!
Irritable bowel syndrome, like so many chronic conditions, is actually a symptom of an underlying issue, not a disease in and of itself. Although it affects up to 20% of the general adult US population, properly diagnosing IBS can be challenging.6 It is often considered to be a functional bowel disorder caused by stress, with no clear etiology. Physicians can be frustrated by the lack of specific biomarkers, reliance on clinical symptoms for diagnosis, and overlap of symptoms with those of organic conditions.8,9,10 Patients with this disorder greatly desire effective therapies and would take considerable risk to obtain symptom benefit.11 But without the necessary tools to personalize diagnosis, treatment is often trial and error—at best a temporary “band-aid”—with patients typically returning once symptoms recur. Salveo Diagnostics offers a solution that will help get to the root of the matter, transforming the physician-patient relationship in the process, for dramatically improved health outcomes.