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IBS Awareness Month 2023

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)is a fairly common disease that strikes between 10 – 15% of the general population so there is no need to feel like you’re suffering alone. The month of April is recognized as IBS awareness month which the IFFGD organization declared.

During this time, we join patients, family members, and caregivers to increase public awareness about IBS and help destigmatize the different types of IBS— the theme for IBS Awareness Month 2023 along with the hashtags #IBSAwarenessMonth and #YouandIBS. We continue to focus attention on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.


Facts and stats about IBS


Experts define IBS by referring to a group of symptoms. Sometimes called the ABCDs of IBS, these symptoms include:

  • A — abdominal pain

  • B — bloating

  • C — constipation

  • D — diarrhea

Other symptoms of IBS include:

  • flatulence (gas)

  • fatigue

  • depression

  • stress


Contact a healthcare professional if you have any of these symptoms because they may indicate a more serious condition:

  • changes in bowel habits lasting more than 6 weeks (especially if you are more than 50 years old)

  • unexplained weight loss

  • a lump in your stomach or swelling

  • a lump in your anus or swelling

  • anal bleeding

A great place to start is with your primary care doctor if you have one or another healthcare professional you trust. It’s important to share your symptoms. You may need a referral so that your insurance can cover the cost of other healthcare professionals you may need.

A treatment team to help with IBS may include:

  • A gastroenterologist: A gastroenterologist is a doctor that specializes in conditions that affect the digestive tract.

  • A registered dietitian: Nutrition specialists and registered dietitians can help you plan nutritious meals that help avoid your triggers and may relieve your symptoms.

  • Behavioral health and mental health professionals: Working with a behavioral or mental health professional can help you address stress, anxiety, and depression, for example, which can occur from your symptom causes or result from your symptoms.

There are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to IBS. A general guideline can be followed to ensure that symptoms are controlled.


DO:

  • Make sure the majority of food eaten is homemade or fresh.

  • Keep a diary of everything you eat in order to understand what triggers symptoms.

  • Take in probiotics to help with the overall health of your digestive system.

DON’T

  • Eat unhealthy processed foods.

  • Drink alcohol or carbonated drinks

  • Eat too quickly or have too much delay between meals


If you think you may have IBS don’t be afraid to do your own research. There are healthy diet plans on the internet you can find as well as tips and techniques listed such as here in this article that should help prevent this dastardly condition.

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