The names and places of the following story have been changed to protect the innocent. It is based on a […]
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
How can I get my IBS under control? How can I eliminate the need to plan my activities around a public restroom? How can I enjoy life again? All these may seem like strange questions to some, but to people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS, they can be the most important questions you have to answer before you plan your day.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by:
- Persistent Diarrhea
- Persistent Constipation
- Alternating Bowel Habits (usually between diarrhea and constipation)
- Persistent Abdominal Pain and Discomfort
- Unexplained or Rapid Weight Loss
- Increased Stress Due to Bowel Habits
Most symptoms listed above are ones that many people experience. The key words in the list are “persistent” and “unexplained”. We’re not talking about a stomach virus, or run-of-the-mill stomach upset because you ate too many Spicy Burritos at the all you can eat buffet. We’re talking about a life altering situation.
IBS: What’s so Bad About It?
If you listen to the Video Logs or Testimonials about life with IBS in this series, you’ll see the often debilitating, potentially embarrassing, consequences of the condition. People of all ages, race, and gender can suffer from this illness, and the effort to live with and control the symptoms can be daunting.
- Must schedule activity around your symptoms/flare-ups
- Symptoms and Flare-ups often come on without warning
- You often need to make sure there are restrooms near you
- Embarrassing to leave a gathering so often
- Non-sufferers often treat IBS as a joke
- Have to take extra under garments with you on outings
What’s so tough about IBS? What’s not so tough, should be the question. Many people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome just want a normal day out, maybe with friends or family. Hopefully something in this series will help aid in that endeavor. It’s not a laughing matter and I want to encourage you to write comments or questions in the “comments” section after each entry.
Part of the embarrassment of IBS is thinking that you’re alone. Here you’ll see that is definitely not the case. If you have a thought or question, say it. Odds are, if you’ve thought it or wondered about it, so have countless others.
IBS: There is Hope?
Let me say this again, if you suffer from the often stigmatized IBS, you are not alone. Others have the same problems you do in trying to manage this incurable illness. In this series of helpful, proactive discussions, you might find the answer you have been looking for. Let me encourage you to explore each section in the series, as you may come across the one sentence that will help relieve your symptoms, and give you that little bit of relief you’ve been seeking from IBS.
Take the next step, continue in this series:
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