This month is all about IBS awareness – and although the topic may be as sensitive as your stomach, we're here to tell you that it's not a topic to shy away from. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is more common than you think, affecting around 25 to 45 million people in the United States alone. Globally, those numbers jump to an estimated 10-15% of the total population, which is HUGE!
What Is IBS Awareness Month?
In 1997, IFFGD designated April as IBS Awareness Month. During this time, the gut health community works to focus their attention on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues. IBS Awareness Month is listed on the U.S. National Health Observances calendar.
This month is super important in helping lift the stigmas surrounding what can sometimes be a taboo topic like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In fact, that’s how Fody got its start. By working with the IBS community and important stakeholders (like Fody advisor and FODMAP expert Kate Scarlata, RDN), we discovered that people were willing to talk about some of the common issues they share, they just needed a safe space to do so. Online, we discovered a large network of people whose lives have been affected. Not only were they able to express their concerns, but they could also share strategies and even have a laugh to lighten the mood.
By breaking the cycle, we can work together to help identify IBS, uncover its symptoms, and find relief methods that work best for you.
What Are the Symptoms of IBS?
Let’s go over this really quickly. If you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may be suffering from IBS:
- Pain and cramping
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea
- Changes in Bowel Movements
- Gas and bloating
- Food intolerances (IBS is often linked with gluten and lactose sensitivity, for example)
- Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety and depression
I Think I Have IBS, Now What?
Hey, we get it, IBS is an ongoing issue that can be painful at its worst and uncomfortable at its best. But don’t worry, it certainly isn’t the end of the world! It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that there are a wealth of resources available to help you with both short-term and long-term solutions.
At Fody, we’re continuously building up a library of resources for those living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Here are 15 pieces to explore if you think (or know) you have IBS:
Is there a topic we didn’t cover? Feel free to let us know in the comments below or visit our blog for more IBS resources. Let’s tackle Irritable Bowel Syndrome together!