- Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) like abdominal pain and
abnormal bowel movements can range from mild to severe
- Affected individuals fail to seek help as they usually feel
uncomfortable talking about their bowel symptoms
- Spread the word and get more people knowing about the condition the
entire month of April to help IBS patients
being very common, many with irritable
bowel syndrome (IBS) are reluctant
to openly talk about their symptoms or seek medical care," said Ceciel T.
Rooker, President of the International Foundation for Functional
Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), a registered non-profit organization
dedicated to improving the lives of people with IBS and other chronic
gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. "They may feel uncomfortable discussing their
symptoms, even with their doctor, because of social taboos surrounding bowel
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is:
- One of the most prevalent and
burdensome chronic conditions
- The second leading cause of work
absenteeism (after the common cold)
- The reason a person restricts his
personal and professional activities an average of 20 percent of the year
IFFGD designated April as the IBS
Awareness Month in 1997 to bring awareness to this often misunderstood
It is on the U.S. National Health Observances calendar during which time individuals, health professionals,
teachers, community groups, and others can allocate time and resources on
important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life
‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition accompanied by abdominal pain, cramps, constipation or diarrhea. Citizens like us should spread more awareness about IBS and break the stigma attached to the condition.’
IBS awareness month status is now recognized worldwide, there is a lot more
deed to be done by common people like us to make more people aware of the
How You Can Get Involved
Raise awareness about IBS
How does raising
- Send the IBS Awareness Month press release to the local
newspaper or share the information as a link on social media
- Send out flyers about IBS in your
community and neighborhood
- Become a part of IFFGD and engage in
conversation on their facebook and twitter pages - use your voice to make
- Brings down the taboo associated
with the disease, which restricts patients from obtaining a diagnosis and
getting medical care
- Brings about positive outcomes, like
additional research, increased educational opportunities and improved
- Encourages open and honest
conversation about IBS symptoms and helps those affected lead normal,
is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
IBS is a disorder of the intestines. The disorder is also
termed irritable colon, mucous colitis, spastic colon or spastic colitis, and
IBS mostly affects the large intestine or the colon. The
muscles of the intestinal wall that help the food move through it, either
contract too quickly or too fast in IBS
contractions may cause the food to move too fast; at such times less water is
reabsorbed into the colon walls and ends up in the stool causing diarrhea. On
the other hand, the contractions may cause the food to move slowly such that
more water is absorbed making the stool hard and leading to constipation. The
faster the contraction, the more painful the cramps will be.
IBS has no cure. People resort to treatment mainly to relieve
symptoms. Most people learn ways over time to cope with the condition, by
changing their lifestyle to make them feel better.
A medical doctor can only diagnose the condition. The condition is usually diagnosed in an elimination procedure - the doctor narrows
down on IBS only if he feels t
hat the symptoms cannot
be caused by another disease like lactose or gluten intolerance.
exact cause of IBS is not known. Symptoms may result from some disturbance in
the interaction of the gut, brain, and nervous system. Oversensitive nerves in
the intestine, intestinal muscle disorders and inflammation of the intestinal
wall, psychological stress, eating habits, and food intolerances have all been
named triggers of IBS.
symptoms of IBS are recurring bouts of abdominal
pain, along with an altered bowel habit (chronic or recurrent diarrhea, constipation or both, which
can either appear simultaneously or in alternation).
The pain usually goes
away after a bowel movement and can worsen after eating a meal. Women typically
experience constipation while men experience diarrhea but both genders can have
both forms too.
signs of IBS may include bloating, flatulence
or mucous discharge. The condition
occurs in episodes with alternating symptom-free periods followed by flare-up
periods of more severe symptoms.
people who have IBS have a mild form which they can cope with quite well
without getting any treatment. But some people have symptoms that are so severe
that it significantly affects their everyday lives and often impairs their
physical, emotional, economic, educational and social well-being.
Facts on IBS
10-15% of the world's population is estimated to have IBS. The prevalence of
IBS in Europe and North America is estimated to be 10-15 percent (25 to 45
million). Data available from across other countries suggest that the
prevalence is more or less similar despite substantial lifestyle differences
and different diagnostic criteria.
There are differences
in presenting features between affected individuals in eastern and western
The age group of people affected by IBS ranges from 15 and 65
years; while symptoms may be present from
childhood, the patient is usually in the 30-50-year-old age group when he does
the first presentation to the doctor.
children and adults alike, more women than men.
How to take care of IBS symptoms in your daily life
If you have
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are not alone.
diet called low FODMAP is advised for IBS patients that must be followed only
after consultation with a doctor. FODMAP
is expanded to read low Fermentable, Oligosaccharides (like fructans, galactans),
Di-saccarides (like glucose and fructose) and Polyols (like sorbitol, mannitol,
maltitol, xylitol, and isomalt).
general, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, fruits without their skins, dry fruits
(all except raisins), grilled, broiled, baked or steamed vegetables, meat with
little or no oil, peppermint and fennel seeds and bananas are safe to consume.
patients should try to avoid fatty and sugary foods, caffeine, alcohol,
carbonated drinks, spicy foods, and processed food. Other lifestyle changes
that will help are to exercise daily, drink plenty of fluids and try calming
techniques like meditation and yoga.
- IBS Awareness Month - (https://www.aboutibs.org/ibs-awareness-month.html)
- IFFGD-IBS Awareness Month - (https://www.aboutibs.org/images/pdfs/AwarenessReleases/IFFGD_IBSAwarenessMonth_2018.pdf)
- Global Guidelines - Irritable Bowel Syndrome - (http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/guidelines/global-guidelines/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-english)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome Overview - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072600/)