Do you know or suspect that you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and need some help as to how to find a doctor? Finding the right person is important, as research suggests that a good doctor/patient relationship can result in a more positive treatment outcome. Certainly personal recommendations, particularly from health professionals that you trust, are the best option for finding a qualified professional. However, sometimes that type of personal referral is not available to you. Or perhaps, you have heard about a wonderful doctor through word of mouth but you would like to find out more about them before you set up an appointment. The following web sites offer information that may help you to make a good match:
This health service provides free reports on physicians in your community. If you do not already have a primary care physician, you could start by choosing "Internal Medicine" on the Specialty drop-down menu. If you already have a doctor, but are looking for specialized digestive care in the form of a gastroenterologist, you would choose "Gastroenterology" from the drop-down menu.
The ACG is an organization of health care professionals who specialize in working with digestive disorders. Their Physician Locator Link will give you the names of ACG member physicians who practice in your geographical area (U.S. and Canada only).
Through its "Digestive Health Alliance", the IFFGD maintains a database of professionals who have experience working with patients who suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS:
Mind Body Treatment
Two forms of psychotherapy have been shown to be effective in alleviating IBS symptoms, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy. The following resources can help you to find a qualified practitioner:
ABCT is an association for therapists who utilize cognitive and behavioral therapy techniques. Therapists who belong to ABCT may not have specific knowledge of IBS, but should have the appropriate training to apply CBT techniques to your symptoms. To find an ABCT member in your area, click the Find a Therapist link.
Dr. Olaf Palsson, an IBS expert associated with the University of North Carolina has put together a research-proven seven session hypnosis treatment. To take advantage of this option, click on Dr. Palsson's site for a list of qualified practitioners (U.S. only).
Related Reading from Dr. Bolen, your IBS Guide:
Kaptchuck, T. et.al. “Components of placebo effect: randomised controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome” BMJ 2008 336:999-1003.