Welcome to the monthly eNewsletter of the
International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD)
Digestive Health Monthly - January 2019

For many, a new year means a fresh start. With a full year ahead of them, people often feel a sense of potential and make resolutions for how they want to live during the next 12 months. Many of these resolutions relate to self-care with promises to "lose weight" and "exercise more" topping the list.

But for someone with a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) illness, the more common resolutions aren't always possible and may even be unhelpful or damaging. This year, we're sharing our self-care resolutions for a positive and GI-friendly 2019 with you.

Happy New Year!
Try Something New
Dare yourself to do something different
While change can be daunting, it can also offer a new perspective and keep us from falling into a rut. So, whether you try a new therapy; seek out a fresh perspective from a new doctor or other health care provider; commit to a new, healthier mindset; or make a change in your personal life, challenge yourself to do something new this year.

One way to try something new is by participating in a clinical trial or research study. Browse studies currently recruiting to find one that's right for you.
Learn More About Your Condition
Brush up on your GI knowledge
For those living with the chronic and often unpredictable symptoms of a GI illness, it can feel like there are always more questions than answers. But by learning as much as you can about your condition, you can start to whittle those questions away, make more informed decisions about your treatment, become a better advocate for yourself, and feel more in charge of your life.

Visit the IFFGD websites to brush up on your GI knowledge.
Connect with Others
Find your GI community
Living with a chronic GI condition can be a lonely experience, and even close friends and family don't always understand. So, it's important to connect with others who have faced similar challenges and can relate. As one advocate suggests, "If I can give any advice, it would be to reach out and connect with others who can relate to you, whether it be through social media or volunteering with non-profits like IFFGD."

Email us to learn how you can be part of the IFFGD community and connect with others with a GI disorder.
Make Your Needs Known
Practice asking for what you need
For many people, asking for help doesn't come naturally. We're afraid to burden our loved ones or overstep our boundaries with our doctors. But, it's okay to ask for help. In fact, it's healthy to do so.

So, practice making your needs known - to your family, your friends, your doctor and other health care providers. To everyone. You may be surprised to learn that they have been waiting for you to ask!

Find tips on how to voice your needs and concerns when talking to your doctor.
Practice Self Love
How do you show yourself love?
It sounds so easy, but learning how to love ourselves can be hard. Many people struggle with self love, but dealing with the challenges of a chronic illness can make it even harder to practice self love. Too often, we heap unreasonable expectations and pressures on ourselves and berate ourselves when we fall short.

But, not only do these expectations make us feel bad, research shows that they can actually disrupt healing and hinder our ability to do the things we most want to do.

We want to know how you prioritize self-love. Share your tips with us and we'll publish them on social media with #SelfLove.
Clinical trials and research studies are important to improving our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of diseases and developing new and better treatments. By participating in a study, you can help advance research and learn more about your condition.

Here are 3 studies currently recruiting participants:
Researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) are seeking healthy volunteers for a study looking at how common antibiotics change the human microbiome.

Adults with symptomatic idiopathic or diabetic gastroparesis are sought for a study to assess the efficacy and safety of twice-daily oral administration of a peripherally acting dopamine receptor D2/D3 antagonist (TAK-906).

Fecal Incontinence
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are seeking adult women with diarrhea and urge predominant fecal incontinence to take part in a study of the safety and efficacy of a combination of colesevelam and clonidine on bowel symptoms.

IFFGD is a nonprofit organization. We rely on donor support to fund research and to provide reliable information and support to those affected by chronic gastrointestinal disorders.
IFFGD | 414-964-1799 | iffgd@iffgd.org | www.iffgd.org