The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders is one of the largest sources for patients to receive information on faecal incontinence. Over twenty-five percent of our publications deal with issues surrounding the management and treatment of faecal incontinence. The titles of our various publications addressing these issues are:

Regaining Control
Living with and Managing Fecal Incontinence
Disorders Related to Excessive Pelvic Floor Muscle Tension
Strategies for Establishing Bowel Control
Biofeedback and Bowel Disorders
Surgical Treatment of Fecal Incontinence
Encopresis in Children
The Etiology of Fecal Incontinence - Causes and Diagnosis.

These publications can be purchased individually or in bulk. Single copies of the articles are free to members of IFFGD.

We also provide patients with referrals to surgeons or physicians in selected areas that specialize in treating faecal incontinence.

In August 1996, IFFGD was listed as a referral source in a Washington Post article dealing with faecal incontinence. As a result of this, we received over 350 phone call and letters requesting more information. Ninety per cent of those people became members of IFFGD.

In an attempt to reach a wider audience, IFFGD now has a toll-free number for patients to call with questions or to request more information. Our number is (+1) 888 964 2001.

To promote educational programming on a local level nationwide, we have developed the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Education Program Guide. This guide is complete with slides, lecture notes, promotional information and reference material. A chapter of the guide is devoted solely to functional anorectal disorders and incontinence. Among other things, the chapter discusses the structural causes of faecal incontinence, the diagnosis of functional faecal incontinence, associated with both constipation and diarrhoea, the predominance of faecal incontinence in society, and different treatment options that may be used. Our hopes are that medical professionals will use this information to educate the lay community on functional gastrointestinal disorders and incontinence.

Our Second International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 13-15 1997. The symposium attracted nearly 300 clinicians and investigators from all over the world in pursuit of a common understanding. Intensive workshops were held on the first and the third days of the conference. Workshop topics included: oesophageal disorders and symptoms, gastroduodenal disorders and symptoms, intestinal disorders and symptoms, and anorectal disorders and symptoms - including incontinence, dyschezia, and rectal pain.

IFFGD continues to provide support and education, for patients and to fight for more research in the areas of functional gastrointestinal disorders and faecal incontinence.

Nancy Norton