Functional bowel disorders are conditions that affect how your stomach and bowels work. They can be disabling, painful, and embarrassing, and they can impact up to 20 percent of adults in the U.S. Unfortunately, adequate medical or surgical therapies available to treat these conditions are limited.
Team Approach to Diagnosis and Care
The Functional Bowel and Neurogastromotility Program offers a unique care approach by integrating gastroenterology, behavioral medicine and nutrition. In a state-of-the-art, comprehensive motility lab, the program brings together a team of:
- Colorectal surgeons
- Behavioral psychologists
- Physical therapists
This team works collaboratively on effective treatment plans for these disorders.
To establish a diagnosis, we use leading-edge techniques, which may include:
- Anorectal manometry with balloon expulsion testing
- Breath testing for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and carbohydrate malabsorption
- Endoanal ultrasonography
- Sacral nerve stimulation
- Smart pill
We stress the importance of treating both the physiological and psychological aspects of functional bowel and motility disorders, and we are on the leading edge of treatment innovation. Treatment can range from traditional medicine to evidence-based complementary strategies.
Our team of renowned faculty from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has shaped the nationwide approach to these conditions. Our team has established the effectiveness of multiple advanced therapies to treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, opioid-induced constipation, fecal incontinence and gastroparesis.
It is well established that your brain affects your gut and plays a critical role in the potential onset and maintenance of functional bowel symptoms. Further, patients with functional bowel disorders can mistakenly make symptoms worse by attempting to control their symptoms. Gut-directed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy are evidence-based treatments that focus on helping patients learn skills related to managing and reducing their abdominal pain or altered bowel habits.
Learn more about behavioral therapy for functional bowel disorders.
In addition, optimal nutrition is vital for health, and particularly important for people with digestive problems who must follow specific nutrition plans.
Registered dietitians trained in gastroenterology provide state-of-the art medical nutrition therapy for a range of digestive diseases. Not only are we up-to-date on the latest gastrointestinal friendly diets, our team has the necessary training and skills to optimize eating behaviors that provide the best results for patients with digestive diseases.
Meet the Team
Meet the Downtown Functional Bowel and Neurogastromotility Team