A few weeks ago I visited my HMO GP. I came armed with a folder full of IBS articles and drugs which may help. He was initally resistant; started out with a "who's the doctor here" attitude. That changed when he realized I actually knew what "presynaptic", "hydroxytryptamine" and"biogenic amine" meant. I talked to him about Alosetron, and how it would likely be released later this year. I mentioned I would like to be referred to specialists to see about being prescribed other drugs with 5-HT3 blocking abilities, such as Remeron and Ondansetron. Well, my GP didn't even know what Alosetron, Remeron and Ondansetron were; I had to explain to him what they were and how they worked (it's a weird feeling explaining to one's GP 5-HT receptors and how serotonin affects gut function). He even made copies of some of the references I brought. He also referred me to two specialists, one of whom I'm seeing this week.Since I'm an exercise physiologist, it may have been easier for me to "talk technical" with my GP, and having a graduate degree in a related field may have helped too, but this experience does illustrate two items. One, GPs are too busy to keep up on everything, they can't; they don't have time. And two, it's important for the patient to be self-informed. When Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he spend untold hours on the WWW learning about his condition. He got to the point where he knew almost as much about testicular cancer as his physician. In part, that's what this BB is about; information. That's one reason it's so important to have a resource like this. reading as much as one can also helps. When I first contracted IBS in 1995, I didn't know anything about it. Through endless hours in libraries and the WWW, though, that changed. One book I would strongly recommend for those who want to know how drugs work (not just IBS drugs)is: The Pill Book, 8th Edition, Bantam Books, ISBN # 0-553-57971-1 (the ISBN # is the book's fingerprint; unique to all publications). The book costs $6.99.This book describes over 1,500 of the most commonly prescribed drugs. How they work, dosages, side effects, drug/food interactions, the whole nine yards. It's a great resource, and you don't have to be a PhD to understand it.