April is a special month for many reasons, but did you know that it is also designated as IBS Awareness Month? During this month, many will be working to raise awareness about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For starters, National advocacy groups are working to bring an end to the stigma that has been associated with IBS by getting more people to discuss this medical condition. So, you should go talk to your doctor if you have experienced any of the symptoms that are associated with IBS.
What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder which can cause chronic bowel complications and abdominal pain. Many of the patients who have been diagnosed with IBS experience a range of symptoms due to their condition including diarrhea, constipation, pain, or any combination of these.
If you develop irritable bowel syndrome, then you may experience intestinal discomfort on a daily basis. However, the severity of these IBS symptoms and their frequency can be unpredictable, varying from case to case. When this condition is not well managed, then this can cause significant issues which can have an impact on all aspects of a person’s life. IBS can alter an individual physically and emotionally, as well as deterring many of their lifetime goals and aspirations.
What Do We Know About IBS?
At this time, we are still unsure what actually causes irritable bowel syndrome, but there are a number of IBS clinical studies which are looking into the matter. Some health care experts believe that the onset of this disease could be caused by a disruption between the natural interaction between the brain, nervous system, and the gut. While stress can cause the symptoms of IBS to worsen, stress is not the actual cause of this disorder.
IBS is a relatively common medical condition of the gut. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) have estimated that anywhere between 9-23 percent of the world’s population have IBS. In the United States alone, there are more than 30 million people who are living with this disorder. Studies have shown that two out of every three cases of IBS are diagnosed in women. There is still no cure available for irritable bowel syndrome, however this condition can be managed with proper treatment and medical assistance.
You Don’t Have to Stay Silent
Unfortunately, many people who are experiencing the symptoms of IBS choose not to seek help or even discuss their issues with anyone else. For many, anything to do with the word “bowel” has taken on a bit of a negative connotation, and this is exactly why IBS Awareness Month is so very important.
The month of April was originally designated as IBS Awareness Month nearly 20 years ago, and it has been helping more people understand that they don’t have to keep quiet about their condition. In fact, the “Don’t Suffer in Silence” theme has become a hallmark of this public health awareness campaign.