Adhesions related disorder (ARD)

What is "Adhesions Related Disorder (ARD)"?

Adhesion related disorder is a complex of symptoms related to adhesions.

Patient’s primary complaint is usually chronic abdominal pain. 

Their symptoms can be primarily in one area of the abdomen but are often generalized, vague, crampy and difficult to define. 

The symptoms of ARD could include: 

  • Chronic pain 
  • Infertility 
  • Bowel obstruction 
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, (GERD) 
  • Urinary Bladder dysfunction 
  • Pain and difficulty having a bowel movement 
  • Pain on movement such as: Walking, sitting or laying in certain positions. 
  • Loss of Nutrients due to poor eating habits or loss of appetite. 
  • Loss of employment due to lost work days 
  • Loss of family and social life 
  • Emotional Disorders such as: Depression, Thoughts of Suicide, Hopelessness

Other intestinal problems can accompany the pain. Constipation or obstruction is sometimes encountered. Alternating constipation with diarrhea from partial obstruction can also be seen. Symptoms may also be related to the gynecologic orders in women as this disorder frequently affects women. Changes in the menstrual cycle, infertility, and pain with sexual intercourse can be encountered. Other symptoms, not directly related to the adhesions, can also be encountered. Since ARD generally results in chronic problems, anxiety and depression can result. Strained relationships can occur especially when the disorder affects sexual function. Difficulty with conception can result. This further adds to the anxiety and problems with self esteem experienced by women who suffer with this disorder. Difficulty eating can result in poor nutrition, weakening suffers overall medical condition and can also lead to a decrease in immune function leading to many other illnesses. Since many of the symptoms related to ARD are vague and wide spread and often include emotional factors, they are often difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of ARD will often be attributed to other abnormalities. Patient will often carry multiple diagnoses including chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, along with a whole host of other possible syndromes. While multiple disorders can certainly exist in one patient, the confusion over which abnormality is truly causing the symptoms adds to the frustration of ARD. This, unfortunately, adds to the discomfort experienced by those who suffer with adhesions. Undiagnosed chronic pain causes so much physical and emotional pain for victims of adhesion related disorder – and fills their lives with so much indecision. In time the effects of ARD will begin to affect the lives of their families, their relationships and their jobs. This inordinate control by ARD has the power to erode and change our lives – and not necessarily for the better! It is so important to believe in yourself, trust the feelings you have about your pain, and tell it like it is. You have the right to be listened to and treated with respect – nothing less!!