When describing their IBS symptoms, some of my clients come up with classic and very graphic descriptions like:
“The wind I generated could power a small village”
“I produced more toxic fumes than an oil refinery”
“I felt sorry for the poor souls in the office who were blissfully unaware of the doom they soon faced”
“I felt like I was 9 months pregnant, and that is not good for a man”
“I felt like I was about to explode, like a giant balloon just waiting for a pin”
Although these clients make a joke of it, you can also sense the element of despair and desperation they feel. IBS sufferers across all ages experience poorer health than the general population and rate their quality of life (QoL) at a similar level to people who have end-stage kidney disease, which might involve dialysis treatment three days a week. Understandably, the severity of bowel symptoms in IBS is associated with a corresponding impact on QoL, the worse the symptoms the bigger the impact.
Symptoms are not only felt in the tummy, but also in the pocket. A clinical review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the cost of treatment of IBS and QoL was more that $20 million a year leading to as many missed work days as the common cold.
The good news is, people who respond well to IBS diet and lifestyle management and medical therapy have a corresponding improvement in health related QoL. My clients following our comprehensive Gut Feelings program report immediate improvement in symptoms and QoL.
If you have IBS and want to improve your QoL, sign up for the Gut Feelings e-newsletter, or have a browse around our website for some useful tools and tips.
Blogged by Kerith Duncanson – May 2015