Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help and Support Group
a trusted community for IBS and Digestive Health sufferers

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: You are not alone.

You are visiting the first and largest on-line community created specifically for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Join us and learn how you might cope with your illness.
"... this group represents the real voice of the IBS sufferer, in a professional and dignified manner."

A Community for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Sufferers

How our community has helped others:

    "The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help and Support Group is a patient led and patient governed organization dedicated to helping everyone who suffers from IBS and other digestive health disorders, through patient communication, support, symptoms, causes, treatment, accurate information and education."

    "The IBS Self Help and Support Group is the Cadillac Escalade of online IBS Groups.  It's the biggest, in terms of both membership and posts, and it carries a long-held reputation for quality and excellence."

   "I signed up to this website because it is reassuring to know that I'm not alone."

  "It's drastic. The symptoms are sometimes constant. There's diarrhea and abdominal pain or constipation and bloating. I can't commit to anything too far in advance or anything that is regularly occurring. It greatly affects my life and I'm grateful that there is someone who understands and I can turn to for support and information."

Choosing an Online Support Group?  You are visiting the largest on-line community for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Review our Online Support Group Checklist and Signup for our free community and join the conversation with our 60,254 active members.

IBS is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tractIrritable Bowel Syndrome is a functional bowel disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract characterized by recurrent abdominal pain and discomfort accompanied by alterations in bowel function, diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both, typically over months or years.

The cause of IBS is unknown.

A diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been reported by approximately 15% of adults in the United States, and symptoms of IBS are responsible for over 3.5 million yearly visits to physicians. Research suggests that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common functional GI disorders and is one of the most common reasons for consultation with a primary care physician or gastroenterologist.

Despite IBS showing to have a significant negative impact on health-related quality of life, only 30% of people with IBS symptoms seek medical attention.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is found predominantly in women in a 2:1 ratio versus men.

There are several subtypes of IBS.

Some of the things you may have heard from family or friends about IBS are just myths about IBS.  IBS sufferers may experience multiple symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, abdominal distention, excessive flatulence, bloating, a continual urge to defecate, urgency to get to a toilet, incontinence, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, straining with a bowel movement, hard / lumpy stools, or even an inability to have a bowel movement at all. A subset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers may have co-morbidities with other digestive health disorders namely; GERD / Heartburn, Dyspepsia, Chronic Constipation, Chronic Abdominal Pain, Fibromyalgia, Pelvic pain or perhaps Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). For instance, 29% of GERD patients have Chronic Constipation. Diagnosis can shift from one motility disorder to another over time; however, co-morbidity in IBS may be due to a general amplification of symptom reporting and physician consultation rather than a direct association. A research study illustrated that patient education in diet, exercise, and stress management showed significant improvement in pain and symptoms at 1 and 6 months of treatment. An educational approach and appropriate use of medications should be components of a physician-based IBS treatment plan.

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Self Help and Support Group, established in 1987, is an award-winning patient advocate group in support of self-management for those who suffer from IBS, those who are looking for support for someone who has IBS, and medical professionals who want to learn more about IBS. The IBS Self Help and Support Group is the largest on-line community for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

This IBS Support Group works to educate those who are living with IBS and to increase awareness about this and other functional gastrointestinal disorders. Much of the involvement in this group involves members sharing their knowledge in the group's forums. IBS Support Group Meetups occur in several regional locations and are noted in the meetups link. In addition to forums, the website provides a list of helpful links, a very comprehensive booklist, Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and Blackberry device apps and mediaresearch studies, brochures, medical tests, diagnostic criteria, diet and low FODMAP diet, treatment, Prescription Medical Foods, and medications about, and for, the disease. Our Medical Advisory Board helps to ensure that evidenced-based medicine and clinical accuracy is shared on our website. Many of our Board members are noted medical and clinical experts in the field of IBS and Digestive Health. Our Moderators and Medical Advisory Board provide advice in the form of essays, related to IBS, Digestive Health and Chronic Illness.

At the IBS Support Group, we know that peers are often the best source of information, support and understanding. That's why you'll find more ways to express yourself and connect with your community at the IBS Support Group than anywhere else on the Web! Be sure to drop into the chat room on Sunday evenings for our free for all chat session. Joining our membership is free!.

More medical professionals refer their patients to the IBS Self Help and Support Group website than any other IBS website on the internet.

IBS Forums The world's first and currently the largest collection of postings about IBS by sufferers - in excess of 800,000, making it the largest community created specifically for IBS sufferers.

IBS Blogs A blog is an easy-to-use web site, where you can quickly post thoughts, interact with people, and more. IBS Blogs, is the first and only blogging community created specifically for IBS sufferers!

IBS Stories We invite you to write a sentence, paragraph or story that describes what IBS means to you. Tell your story or perhaps learn from others.

IBS Penpals offers FREE penpals: an opportunity to meet people from around the world through the Internet who suffers from, or knows someone who suffers from IBS. To find a penpal, you can message people listed in our list.

FODMAP Worldwide Dietitian Registry We have established the only worldwide registry of Dietitians who are knowledgeable about administering a low FODMAP diet.

My Health Profile Optional personal health information such as your symptoms, treatments, prescription medications, other conditions, etc... that you can share and search with other members.

Source:
Hungin et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005;21:1365-1375.
Everheart, Renault. Gastroenterology. 1991;100:998-1005.
Talley et al. Am J Epidemiol. 1995;142:76-83.
Drossman et al. Dig Dis Sci. 1993;38:1569-1580.
Akehurst et al. Pharmacoeconomics. 2002;20:455-462.
Lembo A. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2004;38:776-781.
Whitehead et al. Am J Gastro. 2007;102;12:2767-2776.
Locke GR et al. Neurogastroenterol Motil 2004; 16 1-6.
Corazziari E. Best Prac Res Clin Gastroenterol 2004; 18 613-631.
Colwell LJ et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 1998;93:901-905.

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