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WGO News and Events

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: April 2014 - Volume 48 - Issue 4 - p i–ii
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000091
WGO News

World Gastroenterology Organisation, Milwaukee, WI

The author declares that there is nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Leah Kopp, World Gastroenterology Organisation, Milwaukee, 53202 WI (e-mail:

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New Educational Opportunity!



The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) is pleased to announce its newest educational opportunity: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): What is it, what causes it and can I do anything about it?; a web-based educational program for the general public, available at This particular program, which developed from the World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) 2012 theme “From Heartburn to Constipation—Common GI Symptoms in the Community: Impact and Interpretation,” will target those common symptoms most associated with IBS and will focus, in particular, on an approach to educate the general public on issues related to this condition. Given that it is now known that that IBS is not only common globally but may feature differences in demographics, symptomatology and even in the terminology used to describe its symptoms in different parts of the world, a more universal approach to IBS is very timely and incorporated into this program. Furthermore, the sufferer and the health care provider continue to experience considerable frustration in the management of this disorder at a time when considerable progress has been made; this program provides an update on all that is new and helpful in IBS management.

The program, led by Professors Eamonn Quigley, USA, WGO Foundation Chair; Richard Hunt, UK, WGO Foundation Vice Chair; Pali Hungin, UK; and Anton Emmanuel, UK, is available as an entire program, or as individual segments based on the viewer’s interest. The topics covered include—segment 1: “What is IBS?” and “How to communicate symptoms to help the doctor make the right diagnosis”; segment 2: “Progress in IBS” and “Could it be something else?”; segment 3: “What can I do to deal with my symptoms?” and “How about diet and dietary supplements?”; and segment 4: “Managing IBS” and “Living with IBS.” Begin viewing the webcast by visiting To learn more about World Digestive Health Day, visit

This webcast was created thanks to an unrestricted educational grant from Almirall.

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World Digestive Health Day 2014



World Digestive Health Day 2014 takes place next month! This year’s theme, “GUT MICROBES: Importance in Health and Disease,” will bring together people from around the globe to celebrate this exciting topic. Our knowledge of the microbial communities that inhabit the human gut has grown exponentially over the last few years and there is a profusion of novel information flowing from basic science laboratories into the clinical sceneries. Gut Microbes function like an organ within the gastrointestinal tract, and gastroenterologists are the health professionals who should bring the new knowledge into practice.

The human host provides a habitat and nutrition to a large and diverse ecosystem of microbial communities and they play key roles in digestion, metabolism, and immune function and have a significant impact beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in the diversity and function of those communities are associated with far reaching consequences on host health and have been linked with a number of disorders, including functional bowel disorders; inflammatory bowel diseases; and other immune-mediated diseases (celiac disease, allergies), metabolic conditions (type 2 diabetes, NASH), and perhaps, behavioral disorders such as autism and depression. The emerging data on the microbiota and its interaction with the host may provide novel diagnostic and prognostic tests for clinicians, and also lead to the development of new and effective therapeutic interventions (functional foods, probiotics, prebiotics, microbiota transplants) to relieve symptoms, as well as treat and prevent illness.

WGO seeks to raise awareness of this novel organ and bring the latest fundamental and clinically relevant knowledge to the gastroenterologist and, through the gastroenterologist, to the lay public. The “Gut Microbes—Importance in Health and Disease” campaign for World Digestive Health Day 2014 seeks to undertake the challenge of translating science into practice by developing educational and training platforms and materials around the world through a concerted collaboration with WGO Member Societies. Such actions include a WGO Gut Microbes Manual, “Meeting in a Box” tools to share with Member Societies, an update of the Probiotics and Prebiotics WGO Guideline, sponsored meetings and more.

Have you started planning your event? Although the official date of WDHD is May 29th, many events take place both before and after. Past events include public campaigns, courses, and lectures on treatments of the current theme, marathons, walkathons, national meetings, press conferences, television and radio interviews, creating a country’s own WDHD day, publications, and much more. To officially submit your event for placement on the calendar, go to You may find a variety of tools and resources that benefit your physicians, other health care professionals, patients, and the general public, by visiting Please also visit the WDHD 2014 website to request a copy of the 2014 WDHD logo for your use in promoting this year’s WDHD campaign.

Watch for the WGO monthly e-Alert that will provide the latest news and updates, as well as issues of the quarterly e-WGN ( that features summaries of events that are taking place throughout 2014.

We look forward to a fruitful campaign throughout 2014 and beyond.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins