Seattle, WA (PRWEB) April 3, 2007
Imagine being struck out of the blue with abdominal cramps so severe they leave you unconscious on the floor. Imagine suffering from diarrhea or constipation so unpredictable and debilitating you plan your daily life around access to bathrooms. Now imagine being told by the doctor who diagnoses you that there is no cure.
If you're one of the 50 million Americans with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you know exactly how this feels, but odds are you're unaware of much help is now available for you. This April marks the 11th annual IBS Awareness Month, designated to publicize avenues of help for a condition so prevalent that, though rarely talked about, is the leading cause of worker absenteeism after the common cold. IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder characterized by recurring symptoms of abdominal pain associated with altered bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea, or both). More than 20% of Americans suffer from IBS, which affects more women (75%) than men. The cause of IBS is unknown.
For too long, IBS sufferers were dismissed by physicians, ignored by researchers, and given no alternative to suffering in silence. In recent years this situation has changed dramatically, with a rising awareness of the profound differences lifestyle modifications can make. In particular, significant patient self-help avenues such as HelpForIBS.com have been created to offer information, support, and immediate tangible help for Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers.
"If you have IBS, you are NOT alone," says HelpForIBS.com founder and CEO Heather Van Vorous. "Living with this disorder does not mean leading a miserable life. There are numerous strategies a person can adopt to help prevent all IBS symptoms, and a happy healthy lifestyle is absolutely possible. Though IBS is often portrayed as the punch line to a joke, it's no laughing matter to those who suffer, and these people need to hear that their suffering is completely unnecessary."
Though IBS patients report using nearly 300 different types of prescription and over-the-counter medications (including Zelnorm, which was just withdrawn from the US market by the FDA) in attempts to find relief, many are now discovering that non-drug approaches to the disorder are far more effective and safer. Specifically, patients find success with:
- the groundbreaking IBS dietary guidelines and recipes from the book Eating for IBS
- a reduction of stress triggers through gut-directed hypnotherapy for IBS or yoga practice
- emotional support via internet IBS message boards and local IBS support groups
- organic medical foods such as Heather's Tummy Care products, which are keyed to specific IBS symptoms
Self-help management of IBS has proven so successful that physicians are embracing these approaches, and are referring patients to IBS internet communities such as HelpForIBS.com, hypnotherapists with IBS training, and hometown support groups.
IBS Awareness Month spreads the news that IBS patients are finally being given the lifestyle assistance they need, and not simply a diagnosis. While there is no cure for IBS on the horizon, there are now many healthy ways to successfully manage - and even prevent - all Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.
HelpForIBS.com (http://www.HelpForIBS.com) is the largest IBS community on the internet, with over 5 million visits per year and a subscriber membership of over 70,000 IBS patients and physicians. HelpForIBS.com is dedicated to serving people with IBS, and their mission is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to successfully manage their symptoms through healthy lifestyle modifications. HelpForIBS.com was founded by Heather Van Vorous, an IBS author and a sufferer since age 9. Heather's groundbreaking work in the IBS dietary field has led to her inclusion in Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, has been licensed by Novartis pharmaceuticals, and has been publicized worldwide by physicians, IBS organizations, and patients.
Heather Van Vorous
CEO, Heather's Tummy Care