Donate to Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research, Patient Care and Education

More than 30 million people are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) each year, and more than two-thirds of those diagnosed are women. The risk of developing IBS is greatest during a person’s adolescence and middle age years. The three main types of IBS are those afflicted with chronic diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of the two. Although there is no cure for IBS, your generous contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help to fund advanced research and clinical trials, aimed at developing  new treatments for IBS, at Northwestern Medicine.   

A number of symptoms that can indicate IBS, such as pain and discomfort in the abdomen, bloating, abdominal distention and cramping, increased gas production, intestinal rumbling,  diarrhea or constipation. Other symptoms may include migraine headaches, poor sleep, anxiety and depression, fibromyalgia and chronic pelvic pain.  When you donate to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will become an integral part of helping scientists and physicians at Northwestern Medicine to discover ways to alleviate these symptoms.

IBS has a variety of causes, which may vary from patient to patient. The most prevalent causes of IBS include stress, food triggers, gastroenteritis, and heredity.  It is believed that a communication malfunction between the digestive system and the brain, known as gut-brain dysregulation, plays a crucial role in the the onset of IBS. Frequently, patients will try to treat symptoms without a formal diagnosis, therefore making the condition worse. When you give to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help specialists at Northwestern Medicine provide accurate diagnoses to patients and to prevent individuals with IBS from unintentionally making their condition worse.

Our physicians use a number of different methods to  effectively diagnose IBS. These diagnostic tests begin with a physical exam and may include blood tests to assess thyroid and calcium levels, thyroid dysregulation and celiac and inflammatory markers. Further testing may include a colonoscopy or an X-ray of the abdomen, as well as cancer screening.

At Northwestern Medicine, every patient benefits from a highly individualized treatment plan. Our physicians often recommend changes to a person’s diet (avoiding foods high in fat, spicy foods and alcoholic beverages), as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy or hypnotherapy. Interestingly, both of these types of therapy have demonstrated significant effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of IBS. Medications and natural supplements also may be part of a patient’s treatment plan.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to ensure that, at Northwestern Medicine, every patient with IBS will continue to benefit from multidisciplinary, personalized, state-of-the-art care. Your generosity will make a difference in many lives.