IBS Awareness Month
April is IBS Awareness Month in Canada! Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is considered a functional gut disorder. It involves problems with motility (movement of digested food through the intestines) and sensitivity (how the brain interprets signals from the intestinal nerves). This leads to abdominal pain, changes in bowel patterns and symptoms such as bloating, and gas.
IBS is not all in your head. Symptoms are very real and can be distressing. It may comfort you to know that IBS is very common, so you’re not alone. Canada has one of the highest prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the world – estimated 18% vs. 11% globally 1. This month, we are highlighting new, and helpful resources to raise awareness for this condition that affects so many, and provide science-based resources for those who currently have IBS. Think you may have IBS? Take our quiz!
Statistics on IBS:
- More than 70% indicate that their symptoms interfere with everyday life and 46% report missing work or school due to IBS. 2
- 54% of those with IBS experience symptoms of fatigue. 2
- 40 to 60% of those with IBS experience psychological symptoms, including anxiety disorders and depression. 2
- On average, IBS patients reported they would give up 25% of their remaining life (15 years) to live a symptom-free life. 2
- On average, it takes 4 years for an individual to receive a definitive diagnosis of IBS. 2
New Resources for IBS Awareness Month
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for managing IBS since every individual has their own unique experience with symptoms and triggers. We recommend working with your doctor or registered dietitian to find out what works best for you. There are various treatment options which can help reduce its effects so that you can live your life. We’ve outlined some evidence based strategies in our new resources below.
Toolkit for the Newly Diagnosed
If you have recently been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you are likely asking yourself, what do I do now? CDHF has compiled some things to consider and learn about as you navigate your IBS diagnosis!
It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for managing IBS since every person with IBS will have their own unique experience with symptoms and triggers. We recommend working with your doctor or registered dietitian to find out what works best for you. However, there are various treatment options which can help reduce its effects so that you can live your life. We’ve outlined some evidence based strategies below.
Try CDHF’s myIBS app – Symptom and Health diary for those with IBS
CDHF’s myIBS app is a symptom & health diary app for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). myIBS App is a free, easy-to-use, comprehensive tracking app for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The app allows you to digitally journal your symptoms, poop, food, sleep, stress and more, to help you better understand and manage your IBS. myIBS is designed to help improve communication with your doctor by tracking exactly what you are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. myIBS also includes valuable research and information about IBS to help you better understand your digestive health.
How to Manage IBS Animation
LyfeMD App – Effective Strategies to help Manage IBS app
The LyfeMD app is an effective digital health platform to support diet, lifestyle and wellness for patients living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A percentage of your purchase goes toward supporting the development of CDHF’s awareness and educational programs, in addition to funding research endeavours for gastrointestinal disorders. The LyfeMD app provides:
- Evidence-based diets tailored to how severe your symptoms are
- A gut hypnosis activity and movement, breathing and mindfulness program to retrain the gut-brain axis
- Focused physical activity programs to improve strength and get that gas out
- A 16-week “Retrain your Brain” program called “Understanding your thoughts, feelings and behaviours”
- A Coach you can connect with using in-app chat or SMS. Your coach is in your corner!
Online IBS Program from Dietitians
By using a combination of low-FODMAP eating techniques and supplements (if needed), your IBS Dietitian from NutriProCan will help you to manage your symptoms while still meeting your nutrition needs and managing life’s demands.
The IBS nutrition therapy program is designed to help relieve or resolve the following IBS symptoms:
- Abdominal pain (cramping)
- A feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowels
- Heartburn and nausea
The program consists of a personalized, step-wise low-FODMAP IBS diet, low-FODMAP recipes, high-quality supplements where needed, structured meal planning, coaching and support for overcoming any barriers or making lifestyle and habit changes.
This program was developed in collaboration with GI specialists and many doctors refer to this program, however, a referral is not required. As recognized and trusted healthcare providers, NutriProCan’s dietitians can collaborate with your doctors and specialists, with your consent. Their registered dietitians are also knowledgeable about nutrient-drug interactions to help ensure your plan is comprehensive.
A portion of the IBS Program Package sales is donated to CDHF. For IBS month only, you will receive 10% off by enquiring through the link below:
Other CDHF IBS Resources:
- IBS and the Gut Microbiome
- What does IBS-C feel like? How Do I know if I have IBS-C?
- How to Treat and Manage IBS
- What is the Fecal Calprotectin Test?
- Toolkit for Educating your Employer on IBS
- Celiac Disease vs IBS
- How a Gut Infection can Lead to IBS
IBS Patient Stories:
- What I Eat in a Day with Celiac Disease and IBS
- My Long, Complicated Journey with Gut and IBS-C
- My experience with IBS-C as a Registered Dietitian
- Dressing with IBS and other Digestive Conditions
IBS Awareness Month and its resources were made possible due to an unrestricted educational grant from the following supporters.
- Lovell RM and Ford AC. Global prevalence of and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Jul;10(7):712-21.e4.
- Gastrointestinal Society. 2018. IBS Global Impact Report 2018. https://badgut-5q10xayth7t3zjokbv.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/IBS-Global-Impact-Report.pdf