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Takeaways from IBS Awareness Month

Spreading awareness about IBS doesn’t stop in April when we recognize IBS Awareness Month. Destigmatizing and demystifying IBS is a year-round effort. We’re so thankful for our wonderful and supportive community in all that you do to help raise awareness.

As we reflect on IBS Awareness Month, what stands out to us are the powerful voices we heard from our own community members. Here are four takeaways we took to heart and will continue to remember:

IBS is complex

IBS is not a well-understood condition. It can be very difficult to diagnose, treat, and manage. Some non-IBS sufferers may chalk it up to “bathroom issues” or imply that it’s something that will eventually clear up. Even IBS-sufferers have trouble figuring it out! As Karina states in the quote above, “IBS is a complex condition that takes us sufferers years to figure out. So it’s no wonder that people don’t get it after a 5 minute simplified explanation.” As one IBS community member responded to this quote, “36 years and I still haven’t figured it out.”

The urgency can be impossible to predict

One of the many things that makes IBS so challenging to manage is the inability to anticipate the urgency of needing to get to the bathroom. For some, this can even happen right after they’ve just finished using the bathroom! As Hess explains in the quote above, “I get the urgency to go again as soon as I walk out of the bathroom.” It’s no wonder so many IBS sufferers are wary about leaving the comforts of their own home. One IBS community member agreed to this quote by saying, “Absolutely we suffer with this constantly!”

The importance of support from family and friends

Many with IBS are misunderstood by close friends or even family. For the IBS sufferer who has lived with the condition since childhood, not having an understanding parent can make enduring the symptoms of IBS much more arduous. In the quote above, Tori shares, “Growing up as a child with IBS was difficult. At times I felt like my parents did not believe me…” Having a support system in place to help get through the difficulties of IBS can be so helpful. An IBS community member weighed in on this quote stating, “I have [the] same issues with friends [and] family too. It’s an ongoing dilemma.”

IBS is a pain in the a**

Figuratively. Literally. IBS is a pain. As two IBS community members explained in the quote above, “IBS is a pain in the a**”; “Sometimes quite literally…”