*This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IBS in America, however, all experiences are my own and may not be representative of everyone’s experience.”
I was made aware of a very comprehensive survey called IBS in America not too long ago and I immediately became interested because of my struggle and wanted to be involved.
This is a very personal and “hard to talk about” issue, but feel it’s so important to share. My hope is to help raise awareness of a common and serious condition called IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. We only wish the best for our readers and by sharing my experience maybe it will encourage anyone who is experience similar symptoms to seek advice from their doctor.
About four years ago, during a very stressful and agonizing time in my life after the death of my son I started to develop some symptoms that were unusual for me. Bloating, some pain, and diarrhea were an everyday reality. I experienced this daily for over a year. I was concerned and tried to self diagnose and treat myself, but not afraid enough to seek help. I think I was mostly embarrassed and didn’t know how to bring it up to my doctor; I was also hoping it would just go away at some point.
Living with the physical problems I was having was not easy. I found that I didn’t want to go out very often because I was afraid of the sudden urgency of the diarrhea that I had and not being able to find a bathroom. I also found that I would get headaches and get dehydrated because of the constant diarrhea, so I just never felt well.
After a year of this I had an appointment with my doctor for another reason and decided to bring it up. He told me diarrhea lasting this long is not OK and asked about my other symptoms, diet, life events, the fact that both my parents had this, etc. After some blood work and x-rays to rule out other conditions he diagnosed me with IBS. We both came to the conclusion that it was most likely brought on by the stress and anxiety I was experiencing, diet, and hereditary issues. He recommended that I should experiment with my diet to find a pattern and try to eliminate stressful triggers. I did find that reducing the gluten in my diet helped and with constant monitoring of my life and diet the symptoms reduced and happened less often. I still have issues now and then, but not nearly what it was before. My worry of talking to my doctor about this ended up being silly. He made me feel comfortable and at ease. Had I not said anything I may still be suffering.
Here are some of the results of the survey. You can find the complete report by going to their website.
These points sound very familiar to what I experienced. I also found the below figures interesting:
I can totally relate. After a year of this I would do anything.
So, please talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms that have lasted longer than they should:
Abdominal Pain, Gas, Bloating, Diarrhea, and Constipation
We need to take care of our GI health.
*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.*