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World Gastroenterology Organisation
World Gastroenterology Organisation

For Release September 30, 2013

World Gastroenterology Organisation Announces the Release of a New Global Guideline

Milwaukee, USA — September 30, 2013 — In conjunction with World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) 2012, From Heartburn to Constipation – Common GI Symptoms in the Community: Impact and Interpretation – a worldwide public health campaign celebrated every 29th May – the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) announces the release of a brand new guideline titled Coping With Common GI Symptoms in the Community: a global perspective on heartburn, constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain/discomfort, available for download at

The Common GI Symptoms Guideline, co-chaired by Professors Eamonn Quigley, USA, and Richard Hunt, UK, is the first to take four key gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms as its starting-point: heartburn, abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, and constipation. It is also unique in featuring four levels of care in a cascade approach: self-care and “over-the-counter” aids; the pharmacist’s view; the perspective of the primary care doctor—where symptoms play a primary role in patient presentation; and the specialist. The aim is to provide another unique and globally useful guideline that helps in the management of common, troubling but not disabling GI complaints. According to Professor Eamonn Quigley, “These symptoms are extremely common and sometimes disabling; the goal of this guideline is to approach these symptoms, not only from a global perspective, but, above all, from the perspective of the sufferer.”

The WGO has developed diagnostic and treatment cascades for the WGO guidelines in order to provide resource-sensitive recommendations rather than focusing on a gold standard. However, for this guideline, a different approach has been chosen, based on the point of care: from selfcare to pharmacist, general practitioner/family physician, and finally, GI specialist. “It is very important that the gastroenterologist is aware of the range of treatment options that are available to the sufferer; in that way he or she will be in a much better position to actually help the patient,” said Professor Richard Hunt.

The Common Symptoms Guideline was created by a global Review Team including: Richard Hunt (co-chair, Canada/UK), Eamonn Quigley (co-chair, USA), Zaigham Abbas (Pakistan), Abraham Eliakim (Israel), Anton Emmanuel (UK), Khean-Lee Goh (Malaysia), Francisco Guarner (Spain), Peter Katelaris (Australia), Andre Smout (Netherlands), Mohammad Umar (Pakistan), Peter Whorwell (UK), John Johanson (USA), Roque Saenz (Chile), Luc Besançon (France), Edith Ndjeuda (France), John Horn (USA), Pali Hungin (UK), Roger Jones (UK), Justus Krabshuis (France), and Anton LeMair (Netherlands).

The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) currently has a library of over 20 Global Guidelines and Cascades, which are written from a viewpoint of global applicability. Each Guideline goes through a rigorous process of authoring, editing and peer review and are as evidence based as possible. WGO is the only organisation however, that has adopted a global focus. Cascade-based WGO guidelines offer different treatment options for diagnosis and treatment depending on the resources available, a Cascade being a hierarchical set of diagnostic or therapeutic techniques for the same disease, ranked according to the resources available. Each WGO guideline is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mandarin and Russian, and is updated as new information and evidence is discovered. The Global Guidelines Committee meets each year to discuss updating and creating new guidelines and consists of 30-plus members from around the globe.

About The WGO and The WGO Foundation

Formed in 1935 and incorporated in 1958, The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) is a federation of over 110 national societies and 4 regional associations of gastroenterology representing more than 50,000 individual members worldwide, focusing on the improvement of standards in gastroenterology training and education on a global scale. The WGO Foundation, incorporated in 2007, is dedicated to raising funds to support WGO educational programs and activities.