IBS Awareness Month

IBS Month

April is IBS Awareness Month! Read on to find out more about this condition, and how you can get involved in raising awareness for people living with IBS.

What is IBS?

IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a chronic condition that affects the digestive system. It is the most common digestive system disorder, with up to one third of the population of the UK experiencing symptoms. It is very likely that you know someone who suffers from IBS. It is thought to be caused by over-communication between the brain and the gut. IBS can be made worse by stress, and is usually a life-long condition.

How Does IBS Impact People?

The symptoms of IBS can be very difficult to manage, particularly when sufferers are in public. They include constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, bladder symptoms, and exhaustion. Anyone can have IBS, but it is slightly more common in women than men, and people tend to be diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. There is a lot of stigma and misinformation out there about IBS — people tend to be uncomfortable talking about their bowel habits, and there can be a sense of shame surrounding symptoms.

How Can I Contribute to IBS Awareness Month?

There are several charities and organisations that you can check out to learn more about IBS, including Guts UK and the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). You can also encourage your workplace to accommodate people with IBS, both members of staff and visitors to your site. Some ideas include putting up awareness posters in the bathrooms, ensuring that your facilities are fully stocked at all times, and ensuring that there are plenty of bathrooms available.

To talk about making your facilities more welcoming and prepared for visitors, you can contact TWC here.

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