Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion/dyspepsia, bloating and constipation are common in the community. However, these symptoms may be misinterpreted and their impact and significance misunderstood both by health care providers and sufferers alike.
The goal of the WDHD 2012 advocacy and public health awareness campaign, “From Heartburn to Constipation - Common GI Symptoms in the Community: Impact and Interpretation”, is to help health care providers and sufferers alike to understand these common symptoms, what they may mean and how they should be appropriately and effectively managed. Through this campaign, WDHD 2012 will endeavor to engage with and inform the health care provider – physicians, pharmacists and allied health professionals – and the community at large. WDHD will seek to encourage dialogue on these GI issues and to facilitate interaction between the sufferer and health care providers involved in the management of these and related symptoms, and in doing so, addressing such issues as when dietary or life style changes should be instituted, when symptomatic therapy is appropriate and when referral to a hospital or clinic for further assessment is desirable.
Special attention will be given to the influence of culture, ethnicity and language on the expression and interpretation of these symptoms and to the development of diagnostic and management algorithms appropriate to various settings and circumstances.
Eamonn Quigley, MD
University College Cork
Richard Hunt, MD
Farncombe Family Digestive Disease Research Institute