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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

Warning Signs a Person with Down Syndrome is Getting Overheated

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

Exercise is important for people with Down syndrome just as it is for all people. For all people, care must be taken to avoid overdoing it with exercise. Excessive sweating can be a sign to ease back,

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

Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (DS-ASD)

Author: Autism Speaks and DSMIG-USA DS-ASD Workgroup - Website

It is estimated that about 16-18% of people with Down syndrome also have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group-USA DS-ASD Workgroup collaborated with Autism Speaks t

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.

Co-Occurring Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (DS-ASD)

Author: Down Syndrome-Autism Connection - Website

  Learn about co-occurring Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (DS-ASD) on the page linked here . The information is provided by the Down Syndrome-Autism Connection, an organization wh

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

How to Achieve Healthy Weight Without Using the "D" Word

Author: Janet Bilodeau, CNP - Adult Down Syndrome Center

The video below is a recording of a presentation from the Adult Down Syndrome Center's Healthy Me, Healthy You, Healthy Us Conference held on April 6, 2019. The presenters are Janet Bilodeau,

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

Strength Training in Adults with Down Syndrome

Author: Maura Fitzpatrick-Kissick, DO - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Before starting an exercise program, we recommend discussing it with your health care provider. Strength is one part of fitness that helps keep you healthy and strong. Strength can h

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

Exercise in People with Down Syndrome

Author: Kyle Yost, DO - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

In the United States, obesity is on the rise. This is also true for individuals with Down syndrome. Individuals with Down syndrome are at a higher risk of becoming obese compared to the general popula

Down Syndrome and Autism

Author: National Down Syndrome Society, Down Syndrome - Autism Connection - Document

The document linked below shares information about Down syndrome and autism. It was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society and Down Syndrome-Autism Connection .  https://www.ndss.org

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

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

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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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