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Knowledge, Attitudes, Preferences, & Misconceptions Of IBS Sufferers — an article on the Smart Living Network
August 12, 2009 at 3:53 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Knowledge, Attitudes, Preferences, & Misconceptions Of IBS Sufferers

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There is a certain stigma attached to irritable bowel syndrome due to the vague nature of the condition. By addressing the reasons behind IBS and confronting the stereotypes we can work to clear up the misconceptions. Here are some common stereotypes about those with IBS.

IBS Is All In Their Heads

Many people assume IBS is an invented condition. While it's true that it is difficult to diagnose IBS because there is little solid research on the condition, there are people who suffer regularly from an irritated bowel so much so that it interferes with their life. Doctors don't know what causes IBS and therefore it is difficult to diagnose and treat.

People With IBS Are Just Lazy

This is a ridiculous assumption. People with IBS suffer from a serious condition that can have repercussions in many facets of their life. Co-workers or employers may assume those with IBS are trying to avoid work because there may be periods of time where they're away from the desk when all those who have IBS want to do is their job without uncomfortable interruptions.

IBS Only Affects Women

While IBS does affect many more women than men, men still can have IBS. IBS seems to affect 8 to 10% of older people as well.

IBS Is Due To A Food Allergy

While IBS can occasionally be attributed to a food allergy or intolerance many people have found that avoiding certain foods may ease IBS symptoms. Some people with IBS discover they're lactose intolerant or have an allergy to wheat. Others must avoid certain types of foods such as spicy or fatty foods, alcohol or caffeine.

People With IBS Just Need To Find The Right Medication

Most people with IBS usually aren't completely treated by one medication. Many need to find the right combination of medication and lifestyle changes to ease their symptoms. Even then, there is no guarantee they won't experience bouts of IBS in the future.

IBS Can Easily Be Prevented

There is no way that we know of to prevent irritable bowel syndrome. Doctors currently don't know the exact cause of the condition, let alone how best to prevent it. Many people assume IBS isn't a real condition and don't pay it the attention that it needs. Those with IBS will tell you their situation is real and can be very serious and painful. The only thing they can do is try and identify possible triggers of their IBS and work to avoid those triggers, which often include specific food items, stress and other lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking or excess caffeine.

IBS Will Go Away Soon Enough

While IBS does not typically last for a person's entire lifetime, it can linger for many years. And most people with IBS will say that tomorrow is not soon enough for their IBS symptoms to go away. Some people may have minor symptoms that do not interfere with life, but others experience symptoms so severe that they cannot hold a job for a while. In all, people with IBS need to be treated with respect. Their condition is a real one, and deserves real concern. Since there is so little information on IBS, people who have it often face more discrimination than others who have a well known disease like cancer or diabetes.

Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=80608

http://www.ibstreatmentcenter.com/Newsletters/LateMar2007.pdf

http://www.webmd.com/ibs/guide/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-topic-overview

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