In honor of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, awareness month we are starting a rather interesting conversation about, well poo. It’s not the most comfortable conversation, and it could be kind of embarrassing, but there is no shame in our game! There are real people out there that are suffering, and they deserve to be heard.

What is IBS?

First of all, what even is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? IBS is a condition that affects the large intestine. The cause is not yet known, and there is no cure for this condition. However, some doctors believe it is linked to stomach sensitivity and a predisposition to an anxious character. Common symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. [1]

What you need to know…

Now that you have a basic understanding of what IBS is, here are what people with IBS want you to understand the most.

Pooping really really sucks…

Having to go really hurts, and it feels like about 40% of the time that you have to go you can’t. Which is extremely painful. Constipation is only one side of it though. If it’s not that, it’s the opposite, which could be even worse. It hurts and is extremely embarrassing. Imagine being in the mall with friends and having to run off into a crowded public restroom, mortifying![2]

We LOVE food, but sometimes we have to be picky

It’s not that we don’t want to eat your food, or we’re trying to control where we go to eat. We are just trying to avoid things we know to be triggers. Odds are, whatever it is, is delicious, and we love it, but we may not be willing to risk the wrath it could bring upon us. It’s not you it’s me. After all my insides hate me.[3]

Please respect and understand our quirks 

IBS affects everyone a little bit differently, and we all have different quirks associated with this embarrassing condition. Please don’t make a big deal about them and try to understand where we are coming from. Public restrooms could be a nightmare, we might be gone for 30 minutes or more at a time, we may have to miss work, we might only be able to eat certain things at certain times but please try to understand. We didn’t ask for this, and we know you didn’t either so let’s get through this together.[4]

 

If you or a loved one is suffering from IBS or any sub-category of IBS, it’s time to stand up and make a difference. In honor of IBS Awareness Month let’s raise awareness for IBS research. There are local IBS research studies enrolling now across the nation. Visit www.mylocalstudy.com to search for the one nearest you.

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
[2] https://www.theodysseyonline.com/14-things-people-with-ibs-want-you-understand
[3] https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-people-with-ibs-want-you-to-know-4136680
[4] http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/2016/06/08/7-things-people-ibs-wish-knew/