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Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Family and Community Medicine - Behavioral and Social Sciences


Behavioral and Social Sciences

Gastrointestinal – medical, physiological, different diseases, etc.:

Once upon a time there was a Doonesbury cartoon that noted the 2 biggest current fads in America were 1) cooking and 2) dieting. That contradictory pairing has not changed in the 2 decades since the cartoon was published. Note the expansion of cooking magazines, The Food Network, and fast food and the concomitant increase in the number and types of diets. They are too numerous to list here (a popular search engine just returned 481,000,000 hits for "diet", or more than 1 for every person in the US), so I have put just a few on this list.


Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Hiatal Hernia

Colon and Rectal Cancers

Celiac Disease and “to gluten or not to gluten”

Vegan/Vegetarian (and yes, we know those are not diseases!)

Can being a vegetarian make you healthy? Sure. Can it make you sick? Sometimes. While a healthy choice when done well, physicians report patients who have “gone vegetarian” or “gone vegan” without doing their homework on what makes a balanced diet. The water gets pretty murky here, and each person needs to make their own educated choices!

Nutrition and Diets

Paleo? Vegan? Nordic? Vegetarian? Mediterranean? Fruitarian? Pescetarian? Kangatarian? Flexitarian? Western? Detox? DASH? Ketogenic? There are advocates for all of these diets and a thousand more! This topic is far too big to search and then summarize for a site like this. So here’s just a few places to start:

The mission of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health care needs through education, patient care, research, and service to the community.


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