By Dr. Ray Keate
Richmond Gastroenterology Associates (RGA) and the RGA Hanover office are happy to become a Platinum sponsor of the 17th Annual Mechanicsville Rotary Club Casino Night to benefit Hanover Safe Place.
Hanover Safe Place has a vision that freedom from domestic violence and sexual assault is a reality for every resident of Hanover County, Virginia. It provides many services to county residents including a 24 hour hot line, emergency shelter, and safety planning and court advocacy. In addition to these and other services for victims, Hanover Safe Place promotes community awareness of these issues.
There is an association between stress and gastrointestinal symptoms. A simple example to use is the development of nausea or the urge to use the rest room prior to public speaking. There is a direct link between severe GI symptoms, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its related condition functional dyspepsia, and a history of physical and sexual abuse. In patients with IBS, gastroenterologists are often the first physician to find a link between psychosocial risk factors and their disease. In a study by Drossman1 at UNC about half of the women who are seen by gastroenterologists for IBS symptoms have been victims of either physical or sexual abuse as a child or as an adult. The abuse may have happened many years previously. Only a third of these patients have ever spoken about this to anyone and only one eighth of the total had ever spoken of it to a physician –prior to seeing their gastroenterologists.
We commonly ask about abuse history in our patients with IBS. Our professional involvement in this area has included directing referrals to Hanover Safe Place, engaging the services of forensic nursing personnel at local hospitals for evidence collection and working with local law enforcement and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. It is for these reasons that RGA has taken a very active role in this event and in Hanover Safe Place.
RGA has a team of physicians and advanced practice professionals who are committed to individual attention to patients with disorders and symptoms of the digestive tract. Gastroenterologists are the best qualified physicians to detect colon cancers and remove precancerous colon polyps. Removal of colon polyps at colonoscopy is the most effective way to prevent colon cancer. RGA has offices throughout greater Richmond. The Hanover Office is currently located in Medical Building III on the campus of Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center.
1Drossman,DA, Leseman J, Nachman, G, et. Al. Sexual and Physical Abuse in Women with Functional or Organic Gastrointestinal Disorders. Ann Inten Med 1990; 113:828-33.
8262 Atlee Road, Suite 202
Mechanicsville, VA 23116