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World Digestive Health Day 2019

Can you believe that one-third of the world’s population has some form of digestive symptoms? We reckon that’s a pretty large proportion of us humans experiencing some form of digestive health issue, not to mention some level of accompanying pain or discomfort.

The most common symptoms are bloating and constipation, which can occur even without any structural or functional abnormalities in the digestive system. So, at times these types of symptoms can affect any one of us, sometimes due to our own diets or habits, but for many this is a daily occurrence that can cause frustration and ongoing pain. 

Each year on 29 May, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF), celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) and initiates a yearlong, worldwide, public health campaign. Each year the organisation focuses upon a particular digestive disease and/or disorder in order to increase general public awareness of the prevention, prevalence, diagnosis, management and treatment of that specific disease and/or disorder.

While not the most exciting of issues or topics to “celebrate”, it is so important that a spotlight is shone on this area of our health and wellbeing, to possibly help people modify their choices or avoid the key risk factors, and encourage testing or screening for early detection of perhaps more sinister underlying concerns.

We know here at the PROPPR that the conversations we have about our PROPPR ‘poop stools’ can lead into some deeper discussions about gut health and pooping habits. The incidence of issues in what should at least be a daily and no-fuss habit is so much more common than we might expect. But having those conversations about your poo habits really can help someone realise that there may be a solution to the problems and issues they may be facing.

And, sadly, we now know too that certain digestive issues can lead to more serious consequences down the line (sorry about that pun!), including various gut/digestive related cancers.

The theme for the World Digestive Health Day 2019 campaign is “Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer.” 

In their letter to colleagues, the co-chairs of World Digestive Health Day 2019, Kentaro Sugano, MD of Japan and Joseph Sung MD, said, in part:

“Globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death1 with an estimated 18 million cancer cases around the world. Of those cases, 4 of the 7 top most common cancers are from the digestive system.2 It is because of this world health burden that the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) and The WGO Foundation have selected the Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer as the focus of the 2019 World Digestive Health Day campaign.

WGO will seek to raise awareness of the Early Diagnosis and Treatment of GI Cancer through its annual public advocacy and awareness campaign, World Digestive Health Day. WDHD is celebrated each year on 29 May with associated events, activities, and initiatives continuing throughout and beyond the campaign year. WDHD will provide gastroenterologists, hepatologist, their patients, and the public with an understanding of the latest basic and clinical research in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of GI cancers. This campaign will endeavor to inform physicians, pharmacists, allied health professionals, healthcare payers, and the public of the prevalence, risk factors, and causes of GI cancer. Most especially, we want to ensure that we present an evidence-based and patient-centered approach to the diagnosis and treatment of GI cancer.”

Let’s make sure we have real conversations with the people we love and to monitor our own health, and to ensure they, or we, seek advice and support if needed. And if it’s something as simple as replicating the ‘squat position’ to poo properly – or PROPPRly – then we’ve got you covered! 🙂 

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