In one moment, someone's life will be forever changed by a digestive motility disorder. 
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Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inc. (AGMD)
Monthly Online Newsletter
 
 June 2018
In This Issue
Quick Links
* Announcements
* AGMD New Survey And Last Month's Results 
* Praise For A "Good Dad" On Father's Day - Melissa Adams VanHouten
* A Look At Some Of The Challenges Patients With Digestive Motility Disorders May Face - Maryangela DeGrazia-DiTucci
* An Introduction to Autoimmune Disease - Stacy June
* My Health Journey - Stacy June
  * AGMD Search And Research
* Personal Insights On Living With Diabetes - AGMD Series Of Interviews With Laura Schmidt
* June In Medical History

 

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Announcements

 Scleroderma Awareness Month

Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The word "scleroderma" comes from two Greek words: "sclero" meaning hard, and "derma" meaning skin. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease.

The American College of Rheumatology states that 75,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. are afflicted with this disease; most are women between the ages of 30 and 50. Twins and family members of those with scleroderma or other autoimmune connective tissue diseases, such as lupus, may have a slightly higher risk of getting scleroderma. Children can also develop scleroderma, but the disease is different in children than in adults. 

In diffuse cutaneous systemic scleroderma, there is a higher risk of gut involvement such as feeling bloated after eating, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, diarrhea, or alternating diarrhea and constipation. 

You can find additional information about Scleroderma at: the Scleroderma FoundationAmerican College of Rheumatology.

  ________

Hernia Awareness Month

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, some five million Americans have a hernia. Yet only about 750,000 Americans seek treatment each year.
 
A hernia is a protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in the body. People with a hernia may notice a lump in their abdomen or groin that does not necessarily disappear when they lay down or press on the bulge. 

There are different types of hernia, which include, femoral, hiatal, incisional, and inguinal. Symptoms may include discomfort or pain (especially when lifting heavy objects, standing or straining) as well as a bump that becomes sore and may grow. When a hernia gets bigger, it may obstruct a passage and block blood supply. Other possible symptoms include nausea, vomiting, gas, and constipation. Corrective surgery might be necessary depending on the type of hernia and the severity of symptoms.

________


National Migraine And Headache Awareness Month

A migraine is a chronic and episodic disorder characterized by headaches. The migraine can last any where between 4-72 hours, with pulsating one-sided, moderate-to-severe pain. Often, associated symptoms can accompany the migraine, including nausea and/or vomiting, light sensitivity and sound sensitivity. Other symptoms may including sweating, cold hands, diarrhea, pale skin, scalp tenderness or pain from touch or pressure.

The National Headache Foundation indicates that there are nearly 30 million people in the United States affected by migraines. 

And did you know, that one can have an abdominal migraine, which is a variant of a migraine headache? Typically, this occurs in children between the ages of five to nine years old, who have a family history of migraines. Abdominal migraines may, however, occur in adults as well.  The pain associated with abdominal migraine is generally located in the middle of the abdomen around the belly button. It is often described as dull or "just sore" and may be moderate to severe. In addition to the pain, there can be loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and flushing or pallor. These attacks can last any where from 2 to 72 hours.

You can find additional information at: American Migraine FoundationThe National Headache Foundation.

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Post Traumatic Stress Awareness Day


Post Traumatic Stress Awareness Day occurs on June 27th. The National Center for PTSD states that a fter a traumatic event, most people have painful memories. For many people, the effects of the event fade over time. But for others, the memories, thoughts and feelings don't go away - even months or years after the event is over. Mental health experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD and others do not. If stress reactions do not improve over time and they disrupt everyday life, it is important to seek help to determine if PTSD is present.

Any of us can suffer from PTSD, given the right circumstances. It is estimated that approximately 5% of men and 10% of women suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD can occur at any age. 

Symptoms of PTSD may include: Unwanted recurring memories, flashbacks, heartache and fear when reminded of the event, feeling jumpy, startled, anxious, or nervous when something triggers memories of the event, children may reenact what happened in their play, avoidance of any reminders, negative thoughts or moods, lasting feeling of anxiety. There is evidence that has shown that PTSD is related to cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal disorders. 

For more information, visit:  National Center for PTSDKidshealth.orgMedical News Today.
New - AGMD Monthly Survey

Have you ever felt negatively or unfairly "judged" by others because of your digestive motility disorder?




The Results Of Last Month's Survey Are Here

Thanks to all who responded to last month's survey question. Thus far, there have been 12 respondents.  Our ongoing surveys encompass all types of digestive motility disorders and as the poll remains open, we encourage you to continue to respond. May's Survey




The majority of respondents (7 or 58.33%) consulted 6 or more physicians before being diagnosed.
Praise For A "Good Dad" On Father's Day
By Melissa Adams VanHouten

My husband has always been a loving father, one actively involved in our 14-year-old daughter's care, but I am not sure we fully understood the implications of being a "good dad" until I was diagnosed with gastroparesis. Some days, it seems my husband has, out of necessity, been called to be both mother and father, in a sense. His life now consists of rising every day, performing the household chores I can no longer complete, taking care of our child's many needs, acting as chauffeur, maid, butler, and general caretaker - all while holding down a job outside the home. And though I am sure the pressure is sometimes intense, and he surely must feel the weight of his additional responsibilities, he has never once approached his expanded role as anything other than a privilege.
  
He is the kind of man who chooses to embrace rather than reject the hardships sent his way, and instead of seeking to lessen his load, he strives to find ways to accomplish more, to better assist and serve our family. He is the kind of father who loves his child whole-heartedly, who teaches and guides, who models compassion and concern, and who would gladly sacrifice most anything to help our daughter reach her potential. He puts the needs of our family, and especially our daughter, above his own and has sacrificed both career goals and personal pursuits in the interest of our household.
  
The nausea, pain, and fatigue which accompany my illness and which take not simply a physical but also mental and emotional toll, limit my engagement in activities outside the home and prevent me from completing household tasks and chores which once fell squarely on my shoulders. The division of responsibilities, once nearly equal, has shifted heavily to my husband's side since my diagnosis. He is now tasked with toting my daughter back and forth to school, extracurricular events, and family gatherings, where he is almost always the sole attending parent. And when he arrives home at the end of the day, exhausted from his outside job, he cannot yet rest; his evening is filled with cleaning, homework assistance, and menial duties related to my medical care. I hear him sometimes, late in the night, working on some unfinished project while my daughter and I lie snug in our beds, toiling to complete whatever assignment was left undone for lack of time.
  
He is a playmate and friend who spends countless hours losing board games, taking walks, and engaging in a good game of basketball, softball, or badminton with our child - all the things I once gladly joined but must now largely view from the sidelines. He has become art critic, voice coach, speech teacher, wardrobe coordinator, chief trick-or-treater, birthday cake baker and party host, and teenage shopping-spree director. He does his best to make up for my absence.
  
And on top of it all, he is often called to act as peacemaker and consoler. When I am fatigued, overwhelmed with my symptoms, and not quite thinking or behaving rationally, he is the one who must calm me and comfort our daughter - shield her from the cruel effects of this illness (and my frustration) and assure her all will be well. Many is the occasion I have heard him whisper to our child, "You have to try to understand and forgive Mommy.  She's just tired and sick.  She doesn't mean it." He listens endlessly to my daughter's complaints about homework, classmates, and the "unfairness" of life, though I know he must surely wish to tune it out, sit and relax, and escape his own troubles for just a moment, and he prays with her for my peace, strength, and healing and for mercy on us all.
  
He is the voice of reason, a calming presence, and a steady hand, the "glue" which keeps our family intact, and he exerts a never-wavering confidence that we can continue to get up every morning and do what is necessary to get through the day, whatever that may mean. He pushes forward, onward, and pulls us with him, alongside. He is teacher, counselor, caretaker, role-model, servant - and, above all, "Good Dad."
  
Happy Father's Day to my husband and to all dads called to serve in this challenging world of chronic illness. Here's to you!

Correction: In last month's newsletter, it was stated that Melissa's article entitled: "The Joys And Fears Of Motherhood With Chronic Illness," appeared in The Lancet as well as in The Mighty. The article only appeared in The Mighty. 

The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology had requested submissions for its new column entitled, "Patient Perspectives," and Melissa's article was accepted. This was a wonderful opportunity and honor to have been selected for The Lancet's "Patient Perspectives" debut.

The article in The Lancet is entitled: Is There Anybody Out There? In the article, she describes the loneliness, isolation, and sense of abandonment in her gastroparesis communities.
  
Melissa Adams VanHouten is a former university political science instructor and corporate trainer who holds a B.S. in Political Science from St. Joseph's College and an M.A. in Political Science from Indiana State University. After being diagnosed with gastroparesis in February of 2014, she became a passionate advocate for those in her community who feel voiceless and ignored. Currently, as the Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders (AGMD) Patient Education and Advocacy Specialist, co-author of the book, "Real Life Diaries: Living with Gastroparesis," and creator and administrator of several online support and advocacy groups, she spends her days advancing the cause of those who struggle to live with the sometimes devastating and life-altering effects of gastroparesis and other digestive diseases. It is her fondest desire to empower others to advocate for awareness, better treatments, and, ultimately, a cure.
A Look At Some Of The Challenges Patients With Digestive Motility Disorders May Face
By Maryangela DeGrazia-DiTucci

You've been diagnosed with a chronic digestive motility disorder and you are then faced with numerous challenges in learning to adapt and cope with all the accompanying issues.


Some patients may have to deal with visible physical challenges. Scars from surgeries, swollen bellies, extreme weight loss or even weight gain, ostomy bags, and tubes, canes, crutches or wheelchairs - all these things require mental and physical adjustments. 

There are also the "invisible" physical challenges that patients endure. Chronic pain, anxiety, fear, depression, fatigue, malaise, weakness, and nausea are just some of the daily battles patients have to cope with.  Every day can be a test of endurance.

Beyond the physical and "invisible" symptoms, there are the oftentimes, embarrassing symptoms such as burping, belching, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, diarrhea, vomiting and gas.  The stigma attached to these often embarrassing symptoms can cause the patient to be anxious, especially, when they occur in the public setting.

Then there are the food factors. Perhaps some are struggling with the loss of being able to enjoy food. Some may develop a fear of eating because of their symptoms and others may not be able to eat at all.  All these are major adjustments and can lead to social challenges; after all, so many social occasions do involve food. 

Not being believed by others can leave the patient totally disheartened, and they may find themselves always on the defensive trying to convince others that they are really sick. Not being understood by people, especially those who one would expect to understand, can also be extremely frustrating to the patient. 
 
In some instances, treatment may be limited, making it even more difficult for the patient trying to cope with symptoms. What's more, some treatments may work and suddenly not be effective anymore, while others may not find any treatment option available that are helpful at all.

The emotional roller coaster of living a life veiled in so much uncertainty may also cause anxiety and worry. It's difficult living with all the "what-ifs" and mourning all the losses of a life they experienced before illness.

The impact digestive motility disorders can have on finances, relationships, self esteem ... the list goes on and on. It's easy for an average person who does not have a chronic illness to not even give a second thought to what the digestive motility sufferer must endure on a daily basis. But for the patient, it is their world of survival in trying to endure a life of illness.

There are some helpful tips to help you along the way in your journey of digestive motility disorders.

  • It's important to note that if you are a patient, know that you are not alone. There are many other patients who understand because they have gone through or currently are going through similar experiences.
  • Give yourself time to mourn the losses and adapt to your new life with digestive motility disorders.
  • It's normal to experience a kaleidoscope of emotions. 
  • Know that there are some people who will try to understand, but there may be others who don't want to understand or are incapable of understanding.
  • Believe in yourself. 
  • Learn as much as you can about your digestive motility disorder and share related materials to others.
  • Seek help with a doctor if you are having difficulty coping.
  • Have faith. 
  • Be active in your treatment.
  • Talk to other patients so you don't feel so alone.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Remember that your life still have extreme value.
  • Become involved in AGMD.
  • Learning to accept your illness takes time. Be patient and don't give up. 
  • AGMD is here to help!
An Introduction To Autoimmune Disease
By Stacy June

The normal movement of food throughout the digestive tract, known as peristalsis, may become disrupted for different reasons. For example, it may be due to diabetes, nervous system disorders, or an autoimmune disease. This article serves as an introduction to autoimmune disease and the result it can have on peristalsis.
 
We may already know someone (relative, co-worker, friend, etc.) who has an autoimmune disease. It seems that these diseases are so prevalent in our society today. In a healthy immune system, our cells fight viruses, bacteria and any other organisms that invade our bodies. This system, when functioning properly, keeps us healthy and prevents us from getting sick. For people who have an autoimmune disease, the immune system sees the body's own cells as foreign and tries to destroy them. Consequently, the immune system can impair the function of any or multiple parts of the body. Connective tissue, endocrine glands (like the thyroid and pancreas), blood vessels, joints, nerves, muscles and the skin are all areas that are often affected by an autoimmune process.
 
There are more than 80 known autoimmune diseases. What triggers the immune response to turn on the body's own tissues is not fully understood. The symptoms of autoimmune disease depend on the organs involved. In the early stages of the illness, the symptoms are often vague and may coincide with those of other more common conditions. Even as the disease worsens, there is no single test to definitively diagnose the condition. Doctors usually rely on blood tests, imaging, or biopsy to make a determination of an autoimmune disease.
 
Gastrointestinal dysmotility can be seen in a number of autoimmune diseases, including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) , Sjogren Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis and autoimmune autonomic neuropathy. When an autoimmune disease affects the motility of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the enteric nerves and/or smooth muscles in the GI tract are impaired. This impairment may result in gastroparesis, Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction (CIPO), Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO), esophageal dysmotility or slow transit constipation (colonic inertia). Symptoms may include unexplained weight loss, early satiety, bloating, nausea, pain, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, fecal incontinence, diarrhea or constipation.
 
There are no cures for autoimmune diseases. Treatments are aimed at trying to control the immune response and symptom management. This may include immunosuppressive medications, anti-inflammatory medications and supplements to replace a substance that the body lacks. Scientists and researchers are studying the pathophysiology of autoimmune disease and new treatments and ways to manage the disease are continuing to be developed.

References: Up To DateMedline. Image graphic reprinted with permission from  www.beatricebiologist.com.

Stacy has Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Medical Technology and did some postgraduate work in Pathology. She spends her free time serving in her church as secretary/treasurer, volunteering for AGMD, and traveling with her husband. She has an autoimmune disease which has caused damage to multiple organs.
My Health Journey
By Stacy June

I had just celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary and was 41 years old when my health started to decline. My husband and I love to travel, and during our first ten years of marriage, we had been all over Europe, Costa Rica, Alaska, Canada, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii and a vast majority of the continental United States. I feel so blessed to have been able to see all these beautiful places. We were traveling the world, and then my life changed. My days became filled with doctor's appointments, tests and procedures. Over the course of five years, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, slow transit constipation, interstitial lung disease, esophageal dysmotility, polyneuropathy and dysautonomia. I was referred to several more specialists over the next two years, and after numerous tests, it was determined that I had an autoimmune disease. The disease was attacking multiple organs in my body. My immune system that normally functions to keep me from getting sick was actually making me sick. It was seeing my own cells as foreign and was actively trying to destroy them. This was bittersweet news to me, as I was relieved to know what had caused my conditions but I also knew that there was no cure for autoimmune disease. The treatment is aimed at controlling the immune response and symptom management.
 
This disease had affected me not only physically but also mentally. There was the anxiety of not knowing how this disease or any of my associated conditions would progress. The fear of the future would just overwhelm me at times. Then there were days when I was filled with depression knowing how this disease had changed me. I could no longer eat the foods that I loved, and I was having more difficulty doing the things I loved to do physically. Then there were days where the thought of becoming a burden to my husband would cause deep sorrow.
 
You would never know by looking at me that I have an autoimmune disease or any of the conditions that I have as a result of it. I look healthy on the outside. I have heard from more than one person that I look so good for someone that has so much going on. Although I do take that as a compliment, sometimes it is hard because I do not always feel as good on the inside as I look on the outside.
 
While I still have days where I feel anxious or depressed about my conditions, I know that I have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for medicines that help manage my diseases. I am thankful for my team of doctors. I feel blessed to have a supportive, loving and caring husband. I am thankful to have supportive family and friends. They all understand when I don't feel well. They have gone with me to appointments, helped me at home after my surgeries and encouraged me when I am feeling weighed down.
 
Every month when I go the hospital's infusion center to receive treatment for my autoimmune disease, I am reminded of the conditions that it has caused. I am reminded of the impact they have had in my life. I have good days and bad days. While having a chronic illness of any kind is difficult I refuse to let it beat me. I have these diseases but they do not have me!
 
 
My journey with a motility disorder began in 2007, when symptoms first began. A formal diagnosis of gastroparesis, esophageal dysmotility and slow transit constipation was made a few years later. I have been able to manage my diseases so far through diet modifications and medications. I saw several specialists seeking to find the cause, and it was determined to be due to autoimmune disease.
 
I look forward to sharing my time and my love for science and medicine with AGMD. I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Medical Technology and did some postgraduate work in Pathology. I am very interested in bringing awareness, educating and providing support for gastrointestinal motility disorders.
 
In my spare time I serve at my church as secretary/treasurer. I also enjoy traveling with my husband and getting together with friends.

AGMD Search And Research
 
The AGMD Search And Research Column is a forum for patients and family members to submit questions and/or responses to questions posed by our community. If you would like to submit a question or response, email:  info.agmd-gimotility.org. When responding, please indicate the question number you are answering.

It is always humbling when a person is willing to post a question in desperate need of a response and also to see those who going through difficulties, willing to reach out to others to help. We hope you will take a moment to send in your questions and/or responses to those who have posted inquiries.

NEW QUESTION

#4. I would like some recommendations on meal replacements shakes and recipes people have found helpful that are good for Gastroparesis. I am really busy so making stuff is difficult purchasing would be easier for me since I am busy with work and school. Anybody find good ones they seem to like that actually taste good and don't upset the stomach. I am Gluten Free and Lactose Intolerant. Thanks! (Extracted from AGMD Inspire site)


PREVIOUS UNANSWERED QUESTION

#3. Question: I have had tons of issues in the past with my stomach up until recent everyone just kept telling me it was IBS. I have a bunch of food intolerances, dairy, gluten, heavy sugars which I think causes most of the IBS for me not stress. I was recently diagnosed this fall with Gastroparesis, this was my 2nd test. The first test years ago was normal. This time they used gluten free bread for me. I'm not sure if that matters. My gastric emptying test showed 1 hr 96%, 2 hr 82%, 3 hr 42% and 4 hr 17%. The odd thing is, mostly before this diagnosis, I was predominantly IBS-D although it was mixed. So now its gastroparesis? I still occasionally get bouts of diarrhea, but it is rare. My doctor had put me on Cymbalta to control the IBS-D and the joint pain and it works well. So does anyone else have gastroparesis and get bouts of diarrhea? My guess is its when I eat the intolerant foods I can't have that seem to do it, especially dairy and heavy sugar. My doctor said it can happen because gastroparesis is in the upper stomach and IBS in the lower intestines. I am just confused because reading up on it, it sounds like dumping syndrome, which is the exact opposite of gastroparesis. I am also plagued with extreme tiredness more times than not. Does anyone else have this? I feel like I have far more tired days than non-tired days and it is definitely worse after I eat. Please help! 
(Extracted from AGMD Inspire site)

AGMD appreciates all those who submit questions as well as those who respond!

Interested in joining our AGMD Inspire site? Visit: AGMDInspire.

Personal Insights On Living With Diabetes
AGMD Series Of Interview With   Laura Schmidt


In order to gain a better personal perspective of life with diabetes, AGMD will be conducting a series of short interviews with Laura Schmidt.


Question: You had previously indicated that after nearly two years and 26 5-day hospital stays, your primary care doctor found an article written by Dr. Richard McCallum. How did you go about getting in touch with Dr. McCallum?

Answer: My primary care doctor at the time was looking through a database and came across an article by Dr. McCallum and the Medtronic Enterra Neurogastricstimulator. After reading the article, I called the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas where Dr. McCallum was located at the time and I spoke with his clinical assistant.

Question: Did Dr. McCallum agree to see you as a patient and if so, did you have to travel out of state?

Answer: Yes. He did accept me as a patient and I had to travel from Massachusetts to Kansas in order to see him.

Question: When did you finally see Dr. McCallum?

Answer: I was in his office less than two weeks after of finding out about him.

Question. Can you describe your appointment with him?

Answer: It was very unconventional. I met him in his small GI area where there were offices and procedure rooms. He saw me a few times over a 2-day span. He seemed like the world to me as previously, no one knew anything about gastroparesis let alone what to do with me. It was wonderful to finally talk with someone who was an expert in gastroparesis.  He spoke about me as well as my symptoms and because he was so knowledgeable, it seemed like he already knew me. He gave me some handouts about gastroparesis and the Medtronic Enteric neurogastricstimulator. 

Question: Did you have any further testing before being considered as a candidate for the Enteric neurogastricstimulator?

Answer:Yes. I had to have a gastric emptying study (GES). The FDA required at least 10% retention after 4 hours in order to qualify for the neurogastricstimulator FDA study.

Question: What was described to you about the device, procedure and potential benefits. 

Answer: I was told that it was an experimental device and that was developed for type 1 gastroparesis diabetics. The device was described as having leads that were put inside the lower stomach wall muscle that would be connected to the neurogastricstimulator. It would send electric impulses to the nerves that cause nausea in order to stop the nausea signal. I was also told that the device would last about 10 years.

In addition, I was informed that the surgery would be performed by a different doctor, although Dr. McCallum would be scrubbed and in the room as well). The device itself would be placed in the bottom right side of the abdomen and that it would be noticeable. There would be a "skin pocket" formed so the device would remain stationary.  They would also place a J-tube as my weight was very low. 

Question: How long did you have to wait before undergoing the procedure?

Answer: I was there Monday and Tuesday for appointments and testing. The procedure was scheduled for Wednesday so it was that quick.

Question: Was the neurogastric stimulator covered by insurance?

Answer: It was covered by my insurance at that time. It is condidered a Humanitarian Device which means that the "Enterra Therapy system for gastric electrical stimulation is authorized by Federal law for use in treatment of chronic intractable (drug refractory) nausea and vomiting secondary to gastroparesis of diabetic or idiopathic etiology. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated." 

June In Medical History


June 7, 1909 - August 7, 1974 - Virginia Apgar, MD  was an obstetrical anesthesiologist best known for developing the Apgar score, a system used worldwide for evaluating the physical condition of newborns at birth. Her career spanned the fields of medicine and public health, and she became a pivotal figure in redirecting the March of Dimes mission in the 1960s from polio to birth defects and other infant health problems such as premature birth. In fact, she was the first medical leader at the March of Dimes to recognize prematurity as serious problem that demanded a focus on the importance of early prenatal care and healthy pregnancy.

June 14, 1924 - March 22, 2010 - Sir James Black - a Scottish pharmacologist who (along with George H. Hitchings and Gertrude B. Elion) received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1988 for his development of two important drugs, propranolol and cimetidine. Propranolol was the first clinically useful beta-receptorblocking drug (1964). This type of drug is now being used in the treatment of coronary heart disease (angina pectoris, myocardial infarction) and hypertension. In 1972 Black characterized a new group of histamine receptors, H2-receptors, and subsequently developed the first clinically useful H2-receptorantagonist, cimetidine (Tagamet). This introduced a new principle in the treatment of peptic ulcer.

June 14, 1868 - June 26, 1914 - Karl Landsteiner - Austrian-American physician, immunologist and pathologist who received the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the major blood groups and development of the ABO system of blood typing that much reduced risk and made blood transfusion a routine medical practice. Such blood type analysis proved useful also in genetic and legal applications. He first reported that blood had types in 1901. The basis of these types are specific proteins called antigens that are found on the surface of the red blood cells and anti-bodies found in the plasma. He also discovered the Rh factorwhich explained some complications of pregnancy and birth when the Rh factor of the mother and baby do not match.
June 14, 1864 - December 19, 1951 -  Alois Alzheimer - German psychiatrist who  recognized  the disease named after him. In Nov 1901, a 51-year old female patient with signs of dementia had been admitted to the Frankfurt hospital where Dr. Alzheimer was working. At a meeting German psychiatrists in Nov 1906, Alzheimer reported on this patient. The title of his lecture was Über eiene eigenartige Erkrankung der Hirnrinde  (On a peculiar disorder of the cerebral cortex). Later on, at the suggestion of Emil Kraepelin, presenile dementia was designated "Alzheimer's disease." This disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that affects the brain. The first symptoms are loss of memory, inability to think and understand and gradual behavior changes. Death follows in from 8 to 20 years.

June 19, 1914 - May 22, 2007 - Rolf Luft - Swedish endocrinologist who coined the term mitochondrial medicine. He was a productive researcher in that field (1950s-1990s). Notably, he identified (1988) the cause of a number of certain diseases, including diabetes, was imbalances of the oxidation process. Luft disease was the first biochemically defined mitochondrial disease. He was the first to demonstrate the diabetes control was aggravated by stress hormones  and inheritance played a role in the cells' production of insulin. He was an important leader in advancing the care of diabetes patients including providing nurses in diabetes wards with specialized training.

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The Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inc. (AGMD) is a non-profit international organization which relies on membership dues, corporate sponsorship, grants, and the generosity of individuals for funding. In 2016, we commemorated our twenty-fifth anniversary. It was a time to celebrate, but also a time to evaluate if our financial needs could continue to meet our many future goals and programs.

We ask for your tax-deductible donations throughout the year as a way of showing your support and commitment to our organization and its important mission.
 
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Our Mission

AGMD serves as an integral educational resource concerning digestive motility diseases and disorders. It also functions as an important information base for members of the medical, scientific, and nutritional communities. In addition, AGMD provides a forum of support for patients suffering from digestive motility disorders as well as their families.  
Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inc. (AGMD)
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