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Cybill Shepherd and the Irritable Bowel

Cybill Shepherd has revealed that she suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The star of Moonlighting and Taxi Driver says that she has struggled with her symptoms for many years, and is now hoping to raise awareness of IBS and encourage sufferers to talk more openly with their doctors.


Don't suffer in silence But it's not just about how other people perceive us, and how we perceive ourselves. It's also about making sure that anyone who has bowel symptoms seeks help, and at the moment that just doesn't happen.


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 She says: 'For years I have been battling recurring constipation, abdominal pain and bloating. Go ahead and laugh. We laugh because we're embarrassed. In order for us to get relief, we have to talk about our symptoms and stop suffering in silence. 'I have tried nearly everything: changing my diet and watching what I ate. I exercised regularly. I even tried taking fiber supplements and over-the-counter laxatives, but nothing helped with all of my symptoms.

Your doctor may refer you to a Gastroenterologist for a rectal examination. This is where the Gastroenterologist inserts a flexible tube with a light inside it into your rectum. The allows the Gastroenterologist to see the lining of the bowel. The Gastroenterologist may examine part of the colon or the entire length [about 4 feet]. In addition the Gastroenterologist may take a sample of the bowel wall called a biopsy to make sure that the bowel is truly normal. This is one way for example to test for gluten intolerance.

What Cybill Shepherd has done, though, is more than just draw attention to the fact that IBS sufferers need more help. Just by revealing that she is an IBS sufferer she has shown that IBS can affect anyone. Here is a glamorous, successful actress, someone who has kissed Bruce Willis and won three Golden Globes, saying that she has trouble with her bowels.

Whoever you are, whatever your gender or problems or pain, it is vital that you find someone with whom you can identify. If you watch TV and never see a reflection of yourself, if you are a black man and only ever see white faces on screen, then you will start to feel alienated ' and the same goes for people who are ill.

Cybill Shepherd has revealed that she suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The star of Moonlighting and Taxi Driver says that she has struggled with her symptoms for many years, and is now hoping to raise awareness of IBS and encourage sufferers to talk more openly with their doctors.

The power of celebrity In these celebrity-soaked times it can be easy to forget that famous people sometimes achieve genuinely selfless and compassionate things just by using their fame. The greatest power that they have is the ability to shine the light of their stardom on an issue which would otherwise have been ignored.

The diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS] is made by your medical doctor mainly on the basis of what symptoms you are experiencing. Typical symptoms are bloating, abdominal pain/cramps, constipation and diarrhoea. Typical causes are a bad diet, food poisoning, a prolonged course of antibiotics or an operation around the pelvic area.

If you constantly hear about diabetes sufferers and asthma sufferers but never hear a word about bowels then you begin to learn that your illness is far less important than these other worthy causes.

If you can, before you go to see your medical doctor, write out your questions beforehand, so that you have a better chance of leaving the doctor with your questions and concerns answered.

The diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS] is made by your medical doctor mainly on the basis of what symptoms you are experiencing. Typical symptoms are bloating, abdominal pain/cramps, constipation and diarrhoea. Typical causes are a bad diet, food poisoning, a prolonged course of antibiotics or an operation around the pelvic area.

Following on from your story of your symptoms, the doctor may physically examine you. This may be an examination of the stomach area where the doctor will push along the large intestinal wall, to understand how tender the region is. Your doctor may also take your blood pressure or measure your heart rate.

All in all it can take a while [months] to run through all the medical tests to confirm that there is nothing wrong with your bowel. Whatever you can do speed up this process should be suggested to the medical profession, for example if you can go private.

Cybill Shepherd's admission, therefore, is to be applauded. Dare not speak its name Before Cybill Shepherd 'came out', the only famous person I knew of who had IBS was Kelsey Grammar's wife (Kelsey Grammar used to play Frasier in the eponymous sitcom and Cheers).

4). loss of weight when you are not trying to lose weight. If you have any of these symptoms then you need to see your medical doctor even if you have IBS.

The doctor may also ask for blood tests to be taken. This could be to check for parasites, for example, Giardia. The purpose of these tests is reassurance and confirmation that nothing is wrong with the structure of the bowel. You are unlikely to get a tumour or cancer from IBS. IBS is an indication that the bowel is going into spasm. These days your medical doctor should be understanding and compassionate of your symptoms. I would hope that now the medical profession has moved on and agrees that IBS is a bona fide illness and is not just in our heads. I was lucky in that my medical doctor used to be a sufferer of IBS. I would research information and then go to him with what I'd found and we would both agree on the next course of action. I hope that you are fortunate enough to also have such an understanding medical doctor.

And good for her! I think that many IBS sufferers will identify with what she says: from embarrassing, unmentionable symptoms to doctors who insist that our bowel problems are really in our heads.

If we can just get a few more Cybill Shepherds to speak out for IBS then the celebrities of this world might start wearing ribbons for you and me, and leave the gay whales to fight for themselves.

And things can change. Just think about breast cancer, which is now regularly discussed on TV and radio, but 20 years ago was stuck behind a wall of silence where breasts were not to be mentioned, cancerous or not.

Cybill Shepherd says: 'My goal is to urge all women to get over their embarrassment, to stop suffering in silence the way I did, and to talk to their doctors. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is very important for you to be open and honest with your doctor about all your symptoms'.

'My doctor used to tell me it was all emotional and psychological. So I got a new doctor. And a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It was a huge relief to find out that my IBS with constipation was not all in my head and that it was a treatable medical condition. My doctor prescribed Zelnorm and it has provided me with relief for all my symptoms. In a lot of ways, I feel like my old self again.'

Don't suffer in silence But it's not just about how other people perceive us, and how we perceive ourselves. It's also about making sure that anyone who has bowel symptoms seeks help, and at the moment that just doesn't happen.

And things can change. Just think about breast cancer, which is now regularly discussed on TV and radio, but 20 years ago was stuck behind a wall of silence where breasts were not to be mentioned, cancerous or not.

IBS often goes undiagnosed for years, and even when we pluck up the courage to visit the doctor we can be so tongue-tied that we don't properly describe our symptoms. If we could leave our embarrassment in the waiting room it would be so much better for our health.

If you constantly hear about diabetes sufferers and asthma sufferers but never hear a word about bowels then you begin to learn that your illness is far less important than these other worthy causes.

Your doctor may request that you take a Barium Meal which is swallowed or a Barium Enema which is taken via the rectum. Barium is a radioactive substance that shows up under X-rays.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 15 years and runs the Irritable Bowel
Syndrome Treatment website at
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read about
all kinds of different IBS treatments.

The power of celebrity In these celebrity-soaked times it can be easy to forget that famous people sometimes achieve genuinely selfless and compassionate things just by using their fame. The greatest power that they have is the ability to shine the light of their stardom on an issue which would otherwise have been ignored.

Cybill Shepherd's admission, therefore, is to be applauded. Dare not speak its name Before Cybill Shepherd 'came out', the only famous person I knew of who had IBS was Kelsey Grammar's wife (Kelsey Grammar used to play Frasier in the eponymous sitcom and Cheers).

And yes, the issue may sometimes be whatever cause is most fashionable at the time - 'Gay whales against racism' as one satirist put it ' or the one which helps the star more than the people (or whales) who are suffering. But sometimes there is no doubt that the celeb has really stuck their neck out to help others who are dealing with an issue that is considered untouchable.

 
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We may identify less with her relief from one drug alone (although the new drugs Zelnorm and Lotronex have had a good success rate in America), but we could all benefit from talking more openly with our doctors and looking for more solutions rather than accepting that IBS will rule our lives.

And yes, the issue may sometimes be whatever cause is most fashionable at the time - 'Gay whales against racism' as one satirist put it ' or the one which helps the star more than the people (or whales) who are suffering. But sometimes there is no doubt that the celeb has really stuck their neck out to help others who are dealing with an issue that is considered untouchable.

IBS often goes undiagnosed for years, and even when we pluck up the courage to visit the doctor we can be so tongue-tied that we don't properly describe our symptoms. If we could leave our embarrassment in the waiting room it would be so much better for our health.

All in all it can take a while [months] to run through all the medical tests to confirm that there is nothing wrong with your bowel. Whatever you can do speed up this process should be suggested to the medical profession, for example if you can go private.

We need more people in the public eye standing up and saying 'Me too', so that everyone can start to realise just how widespread a problem this is.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 15 years and runs the Irritable Bowel
Syndrome Treatment website at
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read about
all kinds of different IBS treatments.

And I can't thing of a more untouchable issue than IBS, something that no-one in the public eye would readily admit to. Can you imagine Julia Roberts standing up and saying 'Diarrhea is the blight of my life and hemorrhoids have driven me to drink'? No, of course not, because anything remotely digestive is considered highly embarrassing and distinctly unglamorous.

Your doctor may request that you take a Barium Meal which is swallowed or a Barium Enema which is taken via the rectum. Barium is a radioactive substance that shows up under X-rays.

'My doctor used to tell me it was all emotional and psychological. So I got a new doctor. And a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It was a huge relief to find out that my IBS with constipation was not all in my head and that it was a treatable medical condition. My doctor prescribed Zelnorm and it has provided me with relief for all my symptoms. In a lot of ways, I feel like my old self again.'

The following is a list of symptoms that do not indicate IBS: 1). blood on the stool, 2). jet black stool that looks like tar, 3). vomiting or vomiting blood,

What Cybill Shepherd has done, though, is more than just draw attention to the fact that IBS sufferers need more help. Just by revealing that she is an IBS sufferer she has shown that IBS can affect anyone. Here is a glamorous, successful actress, someone who has kissed Bruce Willis and won three Golden Globes, saying that she has trouble with her bowels.

Cybill Shepherd says: 'My goal is to urge all women to get over their embarrassment, to stop suffering in silence the way I did, and to talk to their doctors. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is very important for you to be open and honest with your doctor about all your symptoms'.

If we can just get a few more Cybill Shepherds to speak out for IBS then the celebrities of this world might start wearing ribbons for you and me, and leave the gay whales to fight for themselves.

And I can't thing of a more untouchable issue than IBS, something that no-one in the public eye would readily admit to. Can you imagine Julia Roberts standing up and saying 'Diarrhea is the blight of my life and hemorrhoids have driven me to drink'? No, of course not, because anything remotely digestive is considered highly embarrassing and distinctly unglamorous.

We need more people in the public eye standing up and saying 'Me too', so that everyone can start to realise just how widespread a problem this is.

We may identify less with her relief from one drug alone (although the new drugs Zelnorm and Lotronex have had a good success rate in America), but we could all benefit from talking more openly with our doctors and looking for more solutions rather than accepting that IBS will rule our lives.

And good for her! I think that many IBS sufferers will identify with what she says: from embarrassing, unmentionable symptoms to doctors who insist that our bowel problems are really in our heads.

The doctor may also ask for blood tests to be taken. This could be to check for parasites, for example, Giardia. The purpose of these tests is reassurance and confirmation that nothing is wrong with the structure of the bowel. You are unlikely to get a tumour or cancer from IBS. IBS is an indication that the bowel is going into spasm. These days your medical doctor should be understanding and compassionate of your symptoms. I would hope that now the medical profession has moved on and agrees that IBS is a bona fide illness and is not just in our heads. I was lucky in that my medical doctor used to be a sufferer of IBS. I would research information and then go to him with what I'd found and we would both agree on the next course of action. I hope that you are fortunate enough to also have such an understanding medical doctor.

4). loss of weight when you are not trying to lose weight. If you have any of these symptoms then you need to see your medical doctor even if you have IBS.

Whoever you are, whatever your gender or problems or pain, it is vital that you find someone with whom you can identify. If you watch TV and never see a reflection of yourself, if you are a black man and only ever see white faces on screen, then you will start to feel alienated ' and the same goes for people who are ill.

The following is a list of symptoms that do not indicate IBS: 1). blood on the stool, 2). jet black stool that looks like tar, 3). vomiting or vomiting blood,

Your doctor may refer you to a Gastroenterologist for a rectal examination. This is where the Gastroenterologist inserts a flexible tube with a light inside it into your rectum. The allows the Gastroenterologist to see the lining of the bowel. The Gastroenterologist may examine part of the colon or the entire length [about 4 feet]. In addition the Gastroenterologist may take a sample of the bowel wall called a biopsy to make sure that the bowel is truly normal. This is one way for example to test for gluten intolerance.

Following on from your story of your symptoms, the doctor may physically examine you. This may be an examination of the stomach area where the doctor will push along the large intestinal wall, to understand how tender the region is. Your doctor may also take your blood pressure or measure your heart rate.

There are still many people with bowel problems who are too ashamed or embarrassed to go to the doctor, and just soldier on through their lives when they could be receiving treatment. And there's always the risk, of course, that their symptoms could actually be the result of something other than IBS that may get progressively worse if it is left alone.

She says: 'For years I have been battling recurring constipation, abdominal pain and bloating. Go ahead and laugh. We laugh because we're embarrassed. In order for us to get relief, we have to talk about our symptoms and stop suffering in silence. 'I have tried nearly everything: changing my diet and watching what I ate. I exercised regularly. I even tried taking fiber supplements and over-the-counter laxatives, but nothing helped with all of my symptoms.

There are still many people with bowel problems who are too ashamed or embarrassed to go to the doctor, and just soldier on through their lives when they could be receiving treatment. And there's always the risk, of course, that their symptoms could actually be the result of something other than IBS that may get progressively worse if it is left alone.

If you can, before you go to see your medical doctor, write out your questions beforehand, so that you have a better chance of leaving the doctor with your questions and concerns answered.


 
 
     
 
 





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