Info on Personal Relationships and Digestive Disorders

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/23/2011 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Thought this was good because after many years of a problem like GERD/IBS or post surgical issues due to GERD sometimes our families are hurting as much as we are.


Family and personal relationships can have an effect on illness and on how well a person will feel as he or she lives with a chronic digestive disorder. These interactions have been described by family medicine experts.
Relationship factors, which are particularly relevant

* Putting the illness “in its place” – being concerned about the person with the condition without making the illness the primary focus of relationship life.
* Recognizing the skills and strengths the person with digestive condition uses coping with their challenging disorder. For example, calling attention to his or her strategies and skills used in managing intestinal symptoms and distress.

What partners/family members can do

* Consider the person with the condition as the expert in charge of his or her condition. Do not be over-watchful or over-protective. Asking, “Are you alright? Are you really ready to leave?” can actually provoke a bit of anxiety in someone with a chronic digestive disorder, which affects the gut and can lead to a sudden onset or worsening in symptoms.
* Help create more regularity in home life and time management. Avoiding disorganization, over-scheduling, or lack of planning will help the person with the condition feel more internally regulated and balanced and help restore a sense of control.
* Be flexible. Symptoms may flare up at any time without warning. Understand that plans sometimes will need to be changed.
* Avoid (sometimes unintentionally) laying blame on the person with the digestive condition. Saying things such as, “You don't eat right,” or “You worry too much,” grows out of a desire to help, but places blame. It makes the person with the condition feel less in control because she or he knows how often even the best of self-discipline cannot always prevent an outbreak of symptoms.

What you can do

If you have a chronic digestive disorder, here are some things that you can do to help you manage your condition and improve how you feel:

* Try to locate areas of conflict in your personal relationships and reduce distress. Research shows that continuing to talk about problem areas, not withdrawing or blaming, results in much less personal stress, no matter how serious the issue.
* Be specific about the kinds of support you need from your significant others. Others are often misinformed about what is useful in terms of reminders, scheduling, and other restrictions.
* Explain that having a condition like yours requires you to be a kind of active researcher, always looking for what does and does not help, hurt, and work best for you. Sorting this out takes time and focus, and your efforts should be recognized and admired.
* Be aware that friends and family members may be projecting their own worries about health issues on to you. Point out where their comments seem not to apply to your health problems.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 10/23/2011 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rita,
Thanks for sharing this helpful information!  It is very difficult living with GERD, and saying that it affects your partner/family is an understatement!  I hope you find answers to your problems very soon.  I know it has been hard for you. 
Hang in there! turn

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 10/23/2011 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for sharing this Rita!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/24/2011 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hubby and I are on a "quest" it seems. He's a good "researcher" and I'm very grateful.

He found some interesting information about low levels of minerals following gastro surgery
especially with Zinc.

It seems my 17 years of diarrhea and 11 years of reflux may have finally done in my body's
store of Zinc.

Inability to taste can cause lack of appetite after so long a period and lack of appetite can
cause some depression.

Right now I'm continuing to lose weight because I cannot taste my food and as a result I
have no appetite and hopefully supplementing with Zinc till I get my appetite back will help.

What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it. - Gabriel García Márquez

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011
Slow but consistent recovery so far but not a classic one for sure.
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