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Dr. Abdul-Karim Qasem Zaid Deputy General Manager of Al-Kuwait University to the Yemen Times: - "Seventy percent of people around the world have Irritable Bowel Syndrome" (Health).

Dr. Abdul-Karim Qasem Zaid is the Deputy General Manager of Al-Kuwait University Hospital, a consultant physician, a Gastroenterologist and Endoscopest. He is also the head of the Endoscope Department. Born in 1967 in the Sa'ada governorate, he received his bachelor's degree from Sana'a University in 1990.

In December 2001, he got the first part of the Arabic Board in internal medicine from the Arab Board of Medical Specialization in Syria. In May 2007, he received an Arab Board Degree in internal medicine from the Arab League, the Council of Arab Health Ministers, the Arab Board of Medical Specialization and the General Secretariat in Syria.

In September 2007, he received professional doctorate (equation certificate) from the Ministry of Higher Education in Sana'a.

Mahmoud Assamiee of the Yemen Times met with Dr Abdul-Karim Zaid to seek clarification on some of the issues related to Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS).

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder of the large intestine also called the colon or bowel. IBS is not a disease but a condition in which the bowel does not always work normally. The disorder is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits in the absence of any organic cause.

Before we discuss colon diseases, what is the colon?

The colon is the large intestine, which includes the sigmoid colon, spastic colon and transverse colon.

What are colon diseases?

Colon diseases are not traditional diseases, but the dysfunction in the large intestine. In the past, we doubted patients who had colon problems were suffering from abdominal disease because test results showed there was no organic disease. We were treating them as a people who suffered from psychological disturbances under the illusion that they had abdominal disease.

However, after science improved and new diagnostic equipment was invented, we discovered that the patients were not imagining the pain, and people commonly suffer from this abdominal affliction. The colon shrinks or contracts in the upper and lower areas, causing pains and unrest. We call this sickness a dysfunction of the intestine. Colon patients have sensitive intestines. So we call this condition Irritable Bowl Syndrome, or IBS.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

The symptoms of IBS are two kinds, primary and diagnostic. The primary symptoms affect the digestive system. Patients experience a loss of appetite, disgust, vomiting, indigestion and pains. While the pains end with defecation, flatulence and gases, patients also experience changing of stool shape, diarrhea and constipation, increasing time of defecation and mucus with stool. If all these symptoms are found, the person has IBS. The colon of person who has IBS is more constricted than the ordinary person. God created man, and made his intestine with continuous contractions day and night to help man get rid of every bite he swallows.

Why do IBS patients' colons have more contractions than an ordinary ones?

This process is directly linked with psychological afflictions, which is why this condition is called IBS. When I say a person has IBS, this means the person has sensitive intestines that are affected by the kinds of foods they eat, nerves or by other psychological disturbances.

What are the complications of IBS?

IBS, like we said it is not a disease but a condition. It is not "curable" and can last for a long time, and might be associated with the patient's age. Its effects range from a flaming sensation in the digestive system, to a pain in the chest. The IBS patient feels distressed, and he feels fearful.

What are the causes of the condition?

Change in modern civilization and a new life-style of little motion, changes of living conditions and economic conditions. Because of these difficulties in the world, colon diseases have emerged.

In the past, people did not know of these sicknesses. They are found in cities more than villages and in young people more than in old because young people worry more about their lives. Old people do not fear. Fear increases effects of IBS. An old man or woman who has IBS also does not feel the condition because they often ignore pains, and see doctors only in extreme situations.

Is it increased by specific food?

Yes, it is. It is intensified by greens, oil and some vegetables like watercress and garlic. It is also affected by some kinds of fruit like apples, or by anger. But all these cases are not causes of IBS.

Do you believe that IBS is prevalent in Yemen?

The condition is everywhere in world, not only in Yemen. There are that studies indicate that 70 percent of people around the world have IBS.

What about colon bacteria. Some said there are bacteria in ladyfingers (okra), irrigated by dirty water, causes colon disease. Is this true?

There is no bacterial cause to IBS. On the contrary, the side affects of antibiotic reduces useful bacteria, so that sometimes we administrate medicine that includes this bacteria to IBS patient.

Is there any relation between pesticides used for qat and vegetables and IBS?

Possibly. Pesticides are dangerous and farmers use them a lot. But let me tell you something, if pesticides caused IBS, then it would not be found in the rest of the world.

Who are more affected of IBS, men or women?

Women are more affected by the condition because they are more sensitive than men and because of their life-style.

Can children be affected by IBS?

It is possible. We do not rule out IBS for children.

Because IBS is not a regular condition, how do you cure patients? What are the medications administrated?

First of all, the patient has to be educated on his condition. He must know his case and how to deal with the condition. This condition makes patients fearful and this fear increases the intensity of the condition. After educating the patient, medication plays a role. But before medicines, patients should avoid agitators like anxiety or certain types of food that could have worms.

The drugs often do not directly medicate the problem but act as a calmative. Part of the condition is psychological, and the other part is organic. We give anti-contraction mediation for colon disturbances and sedative to treat psychological disturbances or depression. The condition is not absolutely cured because it is not real. The different forms of medication given to IBS patients are anulesics, antispasmolytics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, combinations of these and others.

Some IBS patients say they do not benefit from the medications, why?

That is because patients do not understand the sickness. Many patients lose all their money seeking treatment. IBS patient are not satisfied with one physician. They go to the first doctor and after taking the medicine he prescribes, they say the doctor is no good. Then they see another who prescribes different treatment. I know IBS patients who have traveled to many countries and wasted all their money in search of treatment....

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Publication:Yemen Times (Sana'a, Yemen)
Date:Aug 23, 2009
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