Episode 55

The 40 Year Evolution of Brain Gut Disorders with Douglas Drossman, MD

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In this episode of the Mind Gut Conversation Podcast, I have the great pleasure to talk to Dr. Douglas Drossman, a board-certified gastroenterologist, pioneer of the IBS field, and author of several seminal books about disorders of gut brain interactions:

  1. Gut Feelings – Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction
  2. Patient – Doctor Relationship: A Guide for Patients and Doctors

Dr. Drossman is a board-certified gastroenterologist and his name is synonymous with the Rome Foundation, an organization which has brought international recognition to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and a list of closely related so-called functional GI disorders, a long neglected field in Medicine and Gastroenterology, which are now part of the new subspecialty called Neurogastroenterology.

The Rome Foundation has created a thriving community of healthcare providers interested in different aspects of altered gut-brain interaction, including dietary and psychological treatments. As the Founder and long time President of the Rome Foundation, author of some 280 scientific manuscripts, and passionate promoter of the importance of therapeutic physician-patient interactions, Dr. Drossman was not only a pioneer, but has also had a major long-lasting influence on the field.

Amongst many other topics, in this interview we address several important questions, including the following:

  1. With the creation of the Rome Foundation process, you have revolutionized the entire field of IBS. Which component (patient education, physician education, disease classification) has been most important in this accomplishment?
  2. What is your view on a unifying model of the entire spectrum of brain-gut disorders which manifest in different forms depending on environmental influences, the so-called “exposome” (psychosocial, diet, early life experiences, infections)?
  3. Looking back, I am still amazed that it has taken some 40 years from the original view of IBS as a gut and motility disorder (many still share this view) to a disorder of gut brain interactions. Your comment?
  4. Looking at a crystal ball, how do you think the view will evolve during the next decade?