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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month

Posted on: April 12, 2013   by  Vitamin D Council

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the intestines. It can cause abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Although these symptoms are uncomfortable, IBS does not cause permanent damage to your colon or lead to serious diseases.

IBS affects about 35,000,000 people in the US. Women are 2-3 times more likely to be diagnosed with IBS, and are also more likely to seek medical attention for IBS than are men. Many people remain undiagnosed and unaware that their symptoms indicate a medical disorder.

Vitamin D and IBS

Studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation has a beneficial effect on IBS symptoms. Vitamin D has also been implicated in helping to maintain the balance of a healthy intestinal mucosal barrier, which doesn’t function properly in people with IBS.

What can I do?

People with IBS report that changes in their diet and lifestyle can greatly improve their IBS symptoms. It is recommended to avoid foods that trigger symptoms, get regular exercise, and manage your stress levels. There are also medications available to ease pain and irregularity. We also think it is important to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels.

In 1997 International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders designated April as IBS Awareness Month. This is a time to focus attention on educating others on IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.  Want to help? Here are a few ways:

  • Fundraise. You can contribute to fundraising efforts for research on IBS.
  • Spread the word. Share this IBS awareness press release with your local news outlet or on your social media page.  You can also download and print IBS awareness posters to share around your community.
  • If you have IBS talk to others! Hiding your condition can cause stress which can easily exacerbate your symptoms. Although this is easier said than done, find someone you trust; whether it’s a friend, co-worker, or family member, and talk with them!
  • Join the Digestive Health Alliance and use your voice to make change.

Take a look at our nifty infographic on IBS and vitamin D! Be sure to share with family and friends. View the infographic on our Facebook page to share with your social media friends.

IBS copy

Sources

April is IBS Awareness Month. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. April 1, 2013.

Irritable bowel syndrome. Mayo Clinic. April 2, 2013.

Payne S. Sex, gender, and irritable bowel syndrome: making the connections. Gender Medicine. August 2004.

Sprake EF, Grant VA, Corge BM. Vitamin D3 as a novel treatment for IBS, single case leads to critical analysis of patient centered data. BMJ case reports. 2012.

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