Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL. - Loyola Medicine health psychologist Sarah Kinsinger, PhD, ABPP, has co-founded the new Psychogastroenterology Section of the Rome Foundation, the first international organization dedicated to the research and practice of psychosocial gastroenterology.

Dr. Kinsinger is among a growing number of health psychologists who treat GI disorders that are strongly affected by stress, including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, functional heartburn, functional dyspepsia and ulcerative colitis. Dr. Kinsinger teaches patients coping strategies to manage their symptoms and reduce stress.

Dr. Kinsinger will co-chair the Rome Foundation's Psychogastroenterology Section, which is working to increase the availability of GI-trained mental health professionals around the world. The other co-chair is Laurie Keefer, PhD, of Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. 

The psychogastroenterology group will encourage the development of interdisciplinary psychosocial GI programs in GI practices; improve the visibility of psychosocial GI providers; and expand the field into understudied areas of psychogastroenterology, including inflammatory bowel diseases, pancreatitis and other complex digestive conditions.

Dr. Kinsinger is director of behavioral medicine for Loyola's digestive health program. "While psychological and behavioral interventions do not cure GI diseases, they can provide patients with effective, non-pharmacological treatment options that can greatly reduce the severity of their symptoms," Dr. Kinsinger said.

The Rome Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with functional GI disorders.