This conversation is brought to you by IBS America. All opinions are my own.
We all have it. That churn of the stomach when we eat something that does not agree with us. That trip to the restroom that is accompanied by pain. It is never a good thing. For a lot of people it passes pretty quickly. But for others, like me, it is something more. For me and about 35 million Americans who suffer from IBS, those feelings of abdominal pain and discomfort, including constipation or diarrhea, are persistent throughout the year. IBS is Irritable Bowl Syndrome and it is more common than you think!
I thought it was normal. I did. So before I went to a doctor, I did what a lot of suffers do and just took over the counter meds. Proof I am not alone? IBS in America did a survey and found that a majority of IBS sufferers (67 percent) responding reported experiencing symptoms for more than a year before talking with a doctor. That would be me. In fact, for a while I told myself it was stress and a bad diet. When I stayed home, canceling plans due to symptoms, I told myself it was normal and would go away.
IBS America is on a crusade to help all of us talk about one of the most embarrassing things a person can talk about. A lot of people who suffer are so scared of being honest with their doctor that they don’t even go! In fact, 59 percent of respondents to the IBS America survey reported receiving advice from “non-doctors! I know I did. I emailed friends, had hush hush conversations and searched google in the private setting.
But the truth is, people suffer from IBS. It is uncomfortable, embarrassing and is something we would all rather handle in the comfort of our own homes. My case is not terribly severe but when it hits, which is hard to predict, it can change my plans instantly. I know I am not alone and the more I learn about #IBSAmerica, the more I feel secure in talking to my doctor and taking control!
If you can relate to recurring abdominal and bowel symptoms, make a resolution to take care of your GI health and break the self-help cycle. Speak up early, completely and often with your doctor. Join the discussion, tweet to #IBSinAmerica, read the survey results and see a doctor!
While all experiences and opinions are my own, this post is sponsored by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), which commissioned the “IBS in America” survey, the most comprehensive IBS survey of both patients and physicians ever conducted, polling more than 3,200 sufferers and 300 physicians to better understand this condition, with the financial support of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Allergan plc. For full survey results, visit http://bit.ly/1LwtDgp.