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Link between gastrointestinal disorder, memory, eating behaviour and stress

Abstract

Tahseen Ara Azad and Sue McHale

One in five people is affected by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and while there is no definitive treatment, there are ways to take control of the condition and minimize symptoms. IBS is an invisible, fluctuating disease with potentially embarrassing symptoms. The possible causes of IBS such as diet, stress, anxiety, depression are mutually exclusive. Most of the conditions of IBS are multi-causal and causes interact together to trigger symptoms. This retrospective study mostly focuses on illustrating the multi-dimensional view of gastrointestinal disorders (specifically IBS). The aim is to determine the association of irritable bowel syndrome, stress, eating behavior and memory. In this study, a symptomology questionnaire is designed to assess the type of gastrointestinal disorder based on symptoms, 2 sets of questionnaires are used to measure the level of stress and pattern of eating behavior, and paired associate learning (PAL) test is conducted in CANTAB to estimate short-term memory. The possible hypothesis for the study is to find a positive interlink between gastrointestinal disorders (particularly IBS), stress, eating behavior and short-term memory, as well as to assess and illustrate the level of association and its effect on immunity.

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