Every year April brings IBS Awareness Month, a month to raise awareness of the daily struggle of people who suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Founded in 1997 by the IFFGD (International Foundation For Gastrointestinal Disease) this month is meant to raise awareness of IBS and the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment. For the duration of these thirty days the IFFGD attempts to not only raise awareness of IBS, but also remove the stigma surrounding IBS sufferers and normalize talking about the condition.
IBS is a long-term disorder that causes abdominal pain or discomfort associated with a change in bowel habit, whether that is diarrhea, constipation, or alternating episodes of both. There is no way to cure IBS, but there is ways to relieve some of the discomfort associated with it and improve the quality of life of a person living with IBS. Approximately 30 million people in the United States alone suffer from IBS.
The IFFGD uses events and media strategies to shine light on IBS and people who suffer from it. The word bowel is often avoided in conversation as it has the tendency to make people uncomfortable and as a result people who suffer from this condition often feel very alone. That’s what IBS Awareness Month is fighting to fix. This month is about letting people who suffer from IBS know that they aren’t alone in their struggle.
The IFFGD urges anyone who suspects they may be suffering from IBS to talk to their doctor and consider possible treatment plans. Although IBS can have a severe negative impact on a person’s quality of life, there are ways to make it easier to bear. If you or someone you love suspects that you might be suffering from IBS it is important that you tell your doctor. If you have IBS you are not alone, don’t suffer in silence.