Overcoming digestive health stigmas

4/30/2018

Because of social taboos, many patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are reluctant to talk about their symptoms or seek medical care. They may feel uncomfortable discussing their symptoms, even with their doctor, because of stigmas surrounding bowel symptoms.

It’s important that patients with any type of health need talk with their doctor about obtaining a diagnosis and getting appropriate care without being embarrassed.

Who has IBS?

It may come as a surprise to many, since it’s often regarded as a trivial condition, but IBS is actually one of the most prevalent and burdensome chronic conditions reported by patients. An estimated 10-15 % of the population are affected by IBS. That’s 30 to 45 million people in the United States alone!

IBS has been cited as the second leading cause of missing work (second only to the common cold) and was found to cause those affected to restrict their personal and professional activities an average of 20% of the year.

But, despite the high prevalence and well-documented burden, much about IBS remains unknown, and myths and misconceptions about the disorder are common among patients as well as the general public.

What is IBS?

IBS is typically characterized by recurring or chronic bouts of abdominal pain in association with a change in bowel habits (such as diarrhea or constipation). The pain may be relieved following a bowel movement and may be worsened after eating a meal. Complicating this, symptoms of IBS can flare-up unexpectedly and can change over time or even from day to day.

Other symptoms may also occur, such as:
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Urgency

Where to go for care

If you think you may have IBS or need help with another gastrointestinal disorder, Hunt Regional Medical Partners Gastroenterology can help.

Our gastroenterology team offers many diagnostic and treatment services including:
  • EGD/esophageal dilation
  • Colonoscopy
  • Small bowel enteroscopy
  • Pill endoscopy
  • ERCP
  • Office hemorrhoid banding
  • PEG tube placement/removal
  • Colon cancer screening
We also offer the most current treatment for the following conditions:
  • Hepatitis C
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • IBS
  • Chronic constipation
  • GERD
  • Celiac disease
  • Colon polyps
  • Colon cancer
Click here to learn more about our gastroenterology services.

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