Medical professionals yesterday advised anti-Chen protesters to beware of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) -- a bowel disorder that might be triggered when one feels mentally or emotionally tense, troubled, angry or overwhelmed.
Hong Yao-ren (洪耀仁), a doctor at Shutien Hospital in Taipei, said many of his recent patients, particularly young men or middle-aged women, were falling ill with IBS.
When asked about their daily schedules, Hong found that they all had one thing in common: they were all participants in the anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) protests.
Hong said politically charged events, such as the recent sit-in, can easily put people on edge. This makes the nervous system function at a higher than normal metabolic rate, which will in turn accelerate movement in the large intestine.
Those affected by the complaint often have visit the bathroom as many as six times a day.
While the syndrome is not fatal, Hong cautioned that patients may have to take treatment on a long-term basis before they fully recover. Symptoms for IBS and intestinal cancer are quite similar, so sufferers are advised to seek immediate medical attention.
To avoid IBS, Hong advised that sufferers should strive reduce stress and eat healthily.
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