Dr. Judith Reichman Addresses Women’s GI Health In New Campaign
NEW YORK, NY -- Dr. Judith Reichman, a well-known women’s health specialist, is giving women food for thought with “Straight Talk on Women’s GI Health” (www.GIStraightTalk.com), a new campaign about digestive health.
According to a nationwide survey released today, only 28 percent of women age 40 and older recognize constipation as a common part of aging -- even though the condition affects up to 42 million adults in the United States and is more prevalent in women than men. Women in this age group expect their bodies to change, but few realize that digestive health problems, such as constipation, may also increase with age and fluctuating hormones may not always be the cause.
“As a gynecologist for more than 25 years, I have seen how the body changes as we get older. Too often my patients blame their abdominal bloating, discomfort and constipation on hormonal changes,” said Dr. Reichman. “However, as they describe their symptoms to me, I realize it’s not their hormones, but instead general wear and tear in their GI tract. If you’re a woman age 40 and older, I encourage you to take time to talk with your doctor about your symptoms. Digestive health problems, like constipation, can disrupt your quality of life.”
The survey, conducted by Braun Research, also found that of women age 40 and older who suffer from chronic constipation:
-- 87 percent say chronic constipation makes them physically
-- Eight in ten (80 percent) report that their constipation has had a
negative effect on them.
-- 66 percent report that their constipation negatively affects their
-- 31 percent say constipation has kept them from leaving their home.
Thirty-three percent of these women also wished they had been warned about the condition as much as memory loss (30 percent) and arthritis (31 percent). When asked about what steps they have taken to relieve their symptoms, the majority (82 percent) of women surveyed said they have tried over-the-counter (OTC) medication; however, nearly 60 percent report that the treatments work some of the time or not at all.
“If digestive health problems are disrupting the quality of your life or if you are constantly aware of your gastrointestinal tract -- when you last went to the bathroom, if you had to strain, when you might go again -- you should see a doctor. Changes in diet and exercise, while a foundation for therapy, may not always work,” said Dr. Reichman. “If you are not getting the relief you want, be persistent and keep an ongoing dialogue with your doctor about treatment options that can help alleviate your symptoms. Take charge of your GI health with these D.I.G.E.S.T. tips.”
-- Diminish stress. Practice relaxation exercises such as yoga and
meditation. Take a moment to do something you enjoy, such as reading a
book, gardening or spending time with a friend.
-- Increase your intake of fiber, bran and water. They may help reduce
discomfort and enable your colon to pass stool more easily. Also, keep a
food diary to help your doctor determine if any specific foods could be
triggering your digestive health problems.
-- Get more exercise. Try to exercise for 30 minutes each day.
-- Establish a daily bathroom routine. Set aside an adequate amount of
bathroom time so that you don’t feel rushed. And never ignore your urge to
have a bowel movement. Stop what you’re doing and go!
-- Stay informed. Many people fail to recognize that the discomfort or
bloating they feel could be an indication of a more serious condition, such
as chronic constipation. It is important to be aware of these symptoms in
order to find relief.
-- Talk with your doctor. Don’t be shy. Describe all of your symptoms.
It’s the best way to ensure you receive an appropriate and effective
treatment for your condition. If your condition is persistent or chronic,
you may need more than over-the-counter medications.
The “Straight Talk on Women’s GI Health” campaign is sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. For more information about the campaign, including a downloadable brochure and symptom checker, go to www.GIStraightTalk.com.
About the Survey
The “Straight Talk on Women’s GI Health” survey was conducted online between November 8, 2006 and November 16, 2006 by Braun Research, and included a total of 1,004 respondents among a nationally representative sample of women age 40 and older (+/- 3% margin of error). Of the total respondents, 147 indicated that they had chronic constipation.
Constipation is the most common digestive complaint. Up to 42 million adults in the United States have constipation and the condition is more prevalent in women than men. Chronic constipation is defined as unsatisfactory defecation that is characterized by infrequent stools, difficult stool passage, or both. Difficult stool passage includes:
-- Hard or lumpy stools
-- Difficulty passing stool
-- Incomplete evacuation
-- Prolonged time to stool
-- Need for manual maneuvers to pass stool
Symptoms must persist for at least three months.
About the Sponsors
The “Straight Talk on Women’s GI Health” campaign is sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Based in Deerfield, IL, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. Sucampo Pharmaceuticals is an emerging pharmaceutical company based in Bethesda, MD.
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