Welcome to the monthly eNewsletter of the 
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD)

Digestive Health Monthly - May 2017

As we ease into summer and the weather starts to improve, we may feel more motivated to make positive changes in our lives. This can mean finally talking to your doctor about symptoms that keep you from fully engaging in the things you like to do. Or, starting a gentle exercise regimen to help with your chronic heartburn. Or, even taking action on a larger scale by advocating to advance functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders research in Washington. 

To help you get started, this month we are offering some suggestions for ways you can make a change for yourself and others. 
Talk to Your Doctor 

Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders are chronic, and symptoms may come and go and change over time. But, they likely will not go away on their own. If you are experiencing symptoms that interfere with your daily activities, it's time to talk to your doctor. Working closely with a trusted healthcare provider can help you spend less time seeking care and more time living life.

Find physician resources and tips on how to get the most from your doctor visit  here.
Participate in a Clinical Trial
Help advance FGIMD research

Clinical studies and trials are important parts of the research and development of new and better treatments. By participating in a clinical trial, you can contribute to the advancement of research into functional GI and motility disorders and learn more about your own condition. 

Exercise and GI Symptoms

For some digestive disorders, such as reflux disease or GERD, losing just 5 to 10 pounds may help reduce symptoms. But, in some situations exercise can also contribute to some GI symptoms, including diarrhea and reflux.  Understanding why this can happen can help you find an exercise plan that works for you.

Before starting an exercise routine, read about how exercise can affect your GI symptoms
Track Your Symptoms  

Keeping a diary of your symptoms can help you and your doctor identify potential triggers. Do your symptoms occur more at certain times of the day? Or, after eating certain foods? Do your symptoms seem to get worse if you're anxious or stressed? These are all things that can help your doctor identify factors that exacerbate symptoms and work with you to reduce them.

Download and print out this 1-week diary for GERD as a sample, or make your own.
Take Action in Washington
Your legislators need to hear from you!

Reintroduced in the House by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI),  The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act (HR 1187)  seeks to expand, intensify, and coordinate research activities into these conditions, advancing the science and developing new treatments and cures. Your House Member of Congress may cosponsor this bill, but only if you ask! 

Learn how you can help educate your Congressperson about the needs of the millions of Americans affected by chronic digestive conditions. 
IFFGD is a nonprofit organization. We rely on donor support to fund research and to provide reliable information and support to those affected by functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders.

IFFGD | (414) 964-1799 | iffgd@iffgd.org | www.iffgd.org
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