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[whitespace] The Fire Down Below

When your bowels are not your friends

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is just one of several "functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders"; in other words, there may be disabling symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation or rectal urgency, but no evidence of disease. Approximately 50 million people in the United States suffer at one time or another from IBS.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Unlike IBS, there is inflammation and possibly ulceration of the large or small intestine. The two forms of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The causes of either are unknown, but genetics appear to play a role. Symptoms of diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal pain accompany Crohn's disease, while ulcerative colitis may also have symptoms of rectal bleeding.

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From the August 24-30. 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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