You’ve probably heard of Heart Awareness Month, Women’s Health Awareness Month, and Breast and Lung Cancer Awareness months. Well did you know that April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month? I’m really glad too, because IBS is among the most common gastrointestinal disorders in America today and effects 1 in 5 people nationwide – that’s 20% of the population folks! I’m also glad because I’m passionate about helping IBS sufferers ease their discomfort and lead a normal life. It can be done! So if you have IBS, or even if you occasionally suffer from some of the common symptoms like cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion, stay tuned this month for valuable information and tips on the most effective ways to mitigate your symptoms. There are things that can really help that don’t include potent prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

IBS can be triggered by several factors, including diet (for example, consuming too many high-fat or caffeinated foods and beverages), stress, illness, and even the use of certain medications. Plus, you might not even know that IBS affects not just the digestive system, but the body as a whole. In fact, IBS can be depressing, both figuratively and literally. That is because serotonin, the “feel-good hormone,” is produced not only in the brain but also in the gut. Therefore, if the digestive system is out of balance, the body may be lacking in serotonin, which can lead to depression, as well as anxiety and irritability.

Everyone should realize that reversing IBS is a slow process and one that sometimes takes up to six months before improvement is seen, but it can be done.  It just takes a commitment to making the necessary changes. Stay tuned!