IBS Awareness Month: Breaking the Stigmas

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — April is IBS Awareness Month. Up to 45 million people living in the United States suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although IBS is a common condition, often stigmatized and misunderstood, the symptoms can significantly impact the quality of life for many patients. IFFGD will join patients, family members, and caregivers this April to increase public awareness about IBS. This year’s theme for IBS Awareness Month, Breaking the Stigmas, aims to help destigmatize the different types of IBS by utilizing the hashtags #IBSAwarenenssMonth and #LifeWithIBS across all social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn).

IFFGD President, Ceciel T. Rooker, commented, "As of recently, it has become easier to access education materials. Hopefully, utilizing this access will make us more consciously aware of the impacts of many illnesses such as IBS. As we raise awareness this month, we hope to continue to break the stigmas that are commonly associated with IBS."

Symptoms associated with IBS can flare up unexpectedly and change over time, or even daily. The following symptoms characterize IBS:

  • Recurring or chronic episodes of abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort in association with a change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Other symptoms may also occur, such as bloating, gas, or urgency

IBS is often categorized by symptoms and the most common type of bowel movements experienced daily. These groups include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) – symptoms of diarrhea occur most often
  • Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) – symptoms of constipation occur most often
  • Irritable bowel syndrome mixed (IBS-M) – symptoms of both constipation and diarrhea occur

Identifying the subgroup of IBS is helpful when deciding which tests and/or treatments are best. The severity of the symptoms should also be considered.

"This year during IBS Awareness month, IFFGD will host a free in-person event in Chicago, Illinois titled Nancy and Bill Norton Patient Education Series (NES): IBS Edition. We hope that this event and this year’s awareness campaign will help educate, uplift, and encourage those living with IBS and the general public. By joining together to educate individuals in our communities, we are not only supporting those who suffer from the impacts of IBS, but we also bring awareness to break the stigmas," stated IFFGD President, Ceciel T. Rooker.

IFFGD focuses on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues throughout April. This year, IFFGD invites everyone to join their campaign by visiting www.aboutIBS.org to learn about IBS. You can also join IFFGD’s awareness campaign by downloading and sharing information in the IBS Awareness Month Media Toolkit, which provides key messaging and images.

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) is a nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve care by enhancing awareness, improving education, and supporting and encouraging research into treatments and cures for chronic GI conditions. Learn more about IFFGD at www.iffgd.org.

Media Contact
Hayley McCorkle


SOURCE International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders