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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

Hearing Loss in Adults with Down Syndrome

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

Hearing loss is more common in people with Down syndrome (DS) of all ages. Hearing loss  is typically divided into three categories:  Conductive . This involves the outer and middle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cerumen Impaction (Ear Wax)

Author: Shaza Khan, DO - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

What is cerumen? Cerumen impaction? Cerumen is ear wax. Cerumen impaction is the buildup of ear wax causing a blockage in your ear canal. What are the signs and symptoms of cerumen impaction? Ear full

Recurrent Pneumonia

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

Definition of Pneumonia  (by the Mayo Clinic ) Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus, causing cough with phlegm or

People First

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

When we started the clinic, families spoke to us about what they needed as well as what they expected and what was most likely to help us connect with families and people with Down syndrome. One of th

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

Memorial/Life Celebration

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

I spoke at a patient’s memorial/life celebration a few days ago and I would like to share some of my words. I would like to go back to 1954, the year Don was born. Life expectancy of a perso

Celiac Testing in Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome

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

The starting place for making the diagnosis of celiac disease is the history and physical exam. The symptoms of celiac disease can vary widely (see resource on the description of celiac disease). The

Celiac Treatment

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

How is celiac disease treated? The treatment for celiac disease is diet. It requires strict adherence to eliminating gluten in the diet. How do I get started? The recommended first step is a consultat

Expectations

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

As we mention in our resource on “ Two Syndromes ,” there seem to be four main reasons for the differences noted in the different generations of people with Down syndrome &ndas

Goals

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

As we mention in our resource on “ Two Syndromes ,” there have been changes over time that have contributed to some of our families with younger children with Down syndrome not rel

Life Expectancy

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

As we mention in our resource “ Two Syndromes ,” there are four main areas that we see are affecting people with Down syndrome in a positive way. The effect has been so great in so

Opportunities

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

Over the years, some families have approached us after presentations and reported they couldn’t relate to a story or a point we made. We have found that it was typically a family of a younge

Two Syndromes

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

Occasionally, after a presentation, someone will come up to Dr. McGuire or me and tell us that they can’t relate to some point that we made. After hearing this a few times, a pattern became

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