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Tell Your Doctor the Whole Story

Tell Your Doctor the Whole Story

(ARA)- Have you ever gone to the doctor and left the appointment feeling like you didn't get the information or treatment you needed because like many people you left without discussing the impact of your symptoms of constipation, bloating and abdominal discomfort or pain?
Joanna Pedrosa of Brooklyn, New York suffered with recurring constipation, bloating and abdominal discomfort for more than 20 years. "I told my doctor about my symptoms, but I often felt embarrassed. It was difficult to communicate just how much they all affected me," says Pedrosa. "Now I have been properly diagnosed and I found a treatment that works for me. I know how important it is to talk to your doctor without embarrassment. By speaking out, and encouraging others to do the same, I hope to help those who are suffering with the symptoms of chronic constipation."
A survey conducted in April 2005 by Roper ASW found that eight out of 10 Americans suffering from common gastrointestinal (GI) disorders remain undiagnosed. Of the 1,000 randomly selected men and women between the ages of 18 and 64 surveyed, 87 percent who were experiencing symptoms hadn't told their doctors. Of those who did bring it up, 78 percent said they neglected to discuss how the symptoms were affecting their daily lives.
The survey findings led Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation to work together with the National Women's Health Resource Center to help those suffering find relief. "Take 10 for GI Health" seeks to help sufferers with chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) get effective care by offering tools that will help them get past the stigma. Among them, "Take Ten: Tips for Talking with Your Doctor about GI Health," a tool sufferers can download from The document includes tips and questions designed to help sufferers prepare for their appointment and improve the quality of their visit.
"By taking 10 minutes to have a focused discussion with their doctor, patients can describe the impact of all their symptoms--how they affect their work, their family and their social lives," says Amy Niles, president and chief executive officer of the National Women's Health Resource Center. "I recommend sufferers of recurring constipation, abdominal discomfort and bloating prepare in advance for their doctor's visit in order to overcome the embarrassment of their symptoms."
Like the many sufferers surveyed, Pedrosa tried numerous treatments to help manage all of her symptoms. "Before my doctor and I found a treatment that worked for me, I relied on laxatives for my constipation. I also tried fiber, lots of fiber, but nothing helped with all my symptoms. I'd get so bloated my clothing often didn't fit comfortably, and I spent way too much time in the bathroom," Pedrosa continues. "After speaking with my doctor, he prescribed Zelnorm. Zelnorm helped to relieve all of my symptoms."
Zelnorm is the first and only medicine approved for men and women less than 65 years of age with chronic constipation (constipation lasting more than six months with no known cause) and for women with IBS with constipation. Zelnorm mimics the natural effects of serotonin by activating receptors, which normalize impaired motility in the GI tract, inhibit visceral sensitivity and stimulate intestinal secretion. Full prescribing information is available at

Courtesy of ARA Content

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