Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month 2022

1st April 2022

April is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. IBS is a disorder in the gut-brain interaction. In IBS, it is thought that the gut and the brain ‘over communicate’, causing symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or a mixture of both.

Figures vary widely, but it is thought that IBS affects approximately 1 in 20 of us in the UK. This means that if you are not affected by IBS yourself, more than likely someone you know and care about is.

How does IBS affect people’s lives?

People’s experiences with IBS can vary. However, here at Guts UK we know that IBS isn’t just an ‘upset tummy’. It can be a debilitating and life-changing condition for some patients.

People with IBS often report feeling misunderstood and unsupported. Those with IBS are twice as likely to take sick leave from work. People report a reduction in their confidence, enjoyment of life and some are housebound because of their symptoms.

Sofia’s IBS Story

Sofia was diagnosed with post-infectious IBS after a bout of gastroenteritis. Sofia was having to rush to the toilet urently. This has made her anxious to go out in public, and has made her miss out on celebrations for the past 2 years.

“My personal experience is a lack of understanding and compassion. I find a lot of the time people think I’m just being lazy and fixate on the word ‘syndrome.’ The worst part for me is the impact on my social life. I’m not confident going somewhere I don’t know or know where the closest toilet is. I find social occasions difficult because of this. For example, there is Ramadan coming up, on the evenings friends and family invite you round to their house. However for the last 2 years I haven’t gone, I’ve stayed at home. I find that when I’m fasting, and I start to eat again in the evening, this can trigger my symptoms and I might need to urgently rush to the toilet.

Guts UK’s Priority Setting Partnership into IBS

Guts UK is proud to be funding a Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) into IBS. This will identify and prioritise the top 10 unanswered questions that IBS research could answer.

There are millions of people in the UK with IBS, but they have never been asked what research they want to see into their condition. Now is your chance to have your say and determine the future of IBS research!

The first survery for the IBS PSP is now live until 30th April! Tell us what questions you want IBS research to answer. Patients, carers and healthcare professionals can all have their say. Fill out the survey today!

Guts UK’s research has the capacity to change lives. Your support makes it possible. Please consider donating £3 a month today. Together, we will get to grips with guts. Thank you. 

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