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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

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Constipation in Down Syndrome

Author: Samantha Ghanayem-Bouikidis, MD and Brian Chicoine, MD - Family Medicine, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Constipation is a common problem in people with Down syndrome as well as the general population. Studies show that chronic constipation affects between 2 and 27% of the general population. It is thoug

Urinary Retention

Author: Agni Vlahos, MD and Brian Chicoine, MD - Family Medicine

The bladder is an organ composed of layers of smooth muscle that sits in the pelvis. The function of the bladder is to collect urine that is made in the kidneys. When the bladder reaches its 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a health issue in the intestines (bowels). It is not clear how common it is in people with Down syndrome (DS).  However, we suspect that IBS is more common i

Testicular Cancer

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

While many solid tumor cancers are  less  common in people with Down syndrome compared to people without Down syndrome, testicular cancer is one type of solid tumor cancer that is&am

Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Swallowing problems (dysphagia) are common in people with Down syndrome (DS). In our large cohort study that reviewed health data from people cared for within Advocate Health, swallowing problems were

Kidney Function in People with Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

We frequently see that the lab values of kidney function of people with Down syndrome (DS) we evaluate at our Center are mildly abnormal. The kidney function is slightly decreased compared to what is

Use of Probiotics by People with Down Syndrome

Author: Adult Down Syndrome Center - Resource

What are probiotics? Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms (e.g., bacteria). Foods with labels that say "live and active cultures" contain probiotics.

Liver Fibrosis

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Fibrosis of the liver can be thought of as a "scar" in the liver that results from chronic liver injury. It is similar to scarring that may form on the skin or in the lung or other o

Post-Secondary Transition Resources

Author: Ann Garcia and Grace O'Connor - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

This list of resources was compiled by Ann Garcia and Grace O'Connor, patient advocates at the Adult Down Syndrome Center. Some of these resources are specific to Illinois residents - they are

Health Care Transition Resources

Author: Ann Garcia and Grace O'Connor - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

The resources below can be used by individuals with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers, and their health care providers during the transition from pediatric to adult health care.  G

Treating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease with Surgery

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

We were asked about surgical options for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach contents, including acid, go "backwards" from the stomach up into t

Employment Resources

Author: Grace O’Connor and Ann Garcia - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

This list of resources was compiled by Grace O’Connor and Ann Garcia, patient advocates at the Adult Down Syndrome Center. Some of these resources are specific to the greater Chicagoland are

College and Vocational Training Resources

Author: Ann Garcia and Grace O'Connor - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

This list of resources was compiled by Grace O’Connor and Ann Garcia, patient advocates at the Adult Down Syndrome Center. Some of these resources are specific to the greater Chicagoland are

Alternatives to Workshops

Author: Ann Garcia and Grace O'Connor - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Some of these resources are specific to the greater Chicagoland area and/or Illinois. If you are looking for resources in another region, we recommend reaching out to a local Down syndrome parent orga

Colon Cancer Screening for People with Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Is colon cancer screening recommended for people with Down syndrome? Please note that this handout discusses screening colonoscopies (i.e. colonoscopies performed to identify pre-symptomatic or unreco

Trisomy 21 Toolkit for Transitioning to Adult Medical Care

Author: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - Trisomy 21 Toolkit for Transitioning to Adult Medical Care

The Trisomy 21 Toolkit for Transitioning to Adult Medical Care outlines steps individuals with Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities can take toward building independence, planning for the

Steps to Accessing Adult Services and Supports

Author: Grace O’Connor and Ann Garcia - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

While special education services are an entitlement, adult services are based on eligibility and availability of funding. If you are eligible and funding is available, services can be accessed. In the

Lactose Intolerance

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

People with Down syndrome can experience a variety of gastrointestinal issues. One of them is intolerance to foods containing lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products like milk and ice crea

Celiac Disease

Author: Robert Campbell, DO - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

What is celiac disease? Celiac disease is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the small intestine that occurs when the intestine is exposed to gluten (see more on gluten below). Specificall

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Author: Allison Schnitzler, MD - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux and heartburn, is common among people both with and without Down syndrome. One study showed that as many as 44% (almost one half!) of

Rate of Urinary Retention in Adults with Down Syndrome

Author: Chicoine & Sulo - Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (2015)

Abstract: Purpose:  Down syndrome (DS) is associated with a higher incidence of many medical conditions, but little information regarding urinary retention exists. We assessed the urinary ret

Adult Sibling Toolkit

Author: National Down Syndrome Congress - Resource

This resource from the National Down Syndrome Congress is a tool for adult siblings who are preparing to become more involved in the support and care of their loved ones with Down syndrome. A list of

The Utility of Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody-IgA (tTG-IgA) Testing for Celiac Disease in Adults with Down Syndrome

Author: Chicoine, Parikh, Sulo, & Chicoine - American Journal of Clinical Medicine

Abstract:  Objectives:  We assessed the diagnostic accuracy of the anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody (tTG-IgA) test compared to esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in adults wit

Celiac Disease and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Can celiac disease cause obsessive compulsive disorder? This question was recently asked by a family member of a person with Down syndrome.  I have reviewed several articles and other informa

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.

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