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Please read before choosing an IBS product!


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#1 The Community Managers

The Community Managers

    The Community Managers

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 11:03 PM

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There are now many supplements on the market which are aimed at IBS sufferers, and while some of these are entirely legitimate and useful, others target vulnerable people in order to make money.If you are thinking about buying a product to try to help your IBS, here are some guidelines which should help you avoid the scams.Check for ridiculous claimsIf the marketing information for the product says that it will "cure IBS", or that it is guaranteed to reduce your symptoms, then walk away - no product will work for everyone.Check which disorders the product is used forThere are now a number of products which claim to treat everything from IBS to CFS to fibromyalgia to cancer, which of course is impossible. You should be especially wary of a product that claims to help all of the "difficult to treat" disorders, such as IBS and CFS/ME, because these conditions are often long-term and ignored by doctors, leaving patients very vulnerable to false claims.Remember that natural does not equal safeThere's nothing wrong with saying that a product is natural, but it doesn't automatically make it safe, or gentle, or less likely to have side effects. There are plants that are fatal if eaten, and "natural" supplements that can be just as harsh as drugs.Look for clinical trials, or failing that, some evidenceIf a company is really serious about their product they will want to produce some evidence to show that it works. The gold standard for medical evidence is, of course, the double-blind clinical trial, but this route may not be available to all companies.However, all companies should be able to produce some evidence to back up any claims that they make, and some science to back up their explanations for how the product works. If you are just asked to have blind faith in a product, it's probably because there's no evidence in the first place.Do your own researchType the product name and/or company name into Google and see what other people have been saying about it. Do a search on this board to check whether other members have used it; if not you could post a new thread asking for people's view and opinions.Check the ingredientsFind out what is in the product. Some companies are very good about telling you exactly what is in a product. Others will spend a lot of time telling you about how great the ingredients are without telling you which ones they used. You want to know if you are paying for the hype, or paying for the ingredients. Sometimes very similar products are available in a wide range of prices. It pays to comparison shop before spending your money.Keep your healthy skepticismRemember that if you are talking to a salesman, they are by definition biased. We all need to view salesman's claims with a certain amount of skepticism, just as we would if someone was trying to sell us any other product. This is particularly true if someone tries to sell you a product through posts on a bulletin board or through emails, as they may pose as an IBS sufferer in order to try to make a sale.It's important to be able to distinguish between those sufferers who find a product that works for them and want to tell others, and salesmen who are only interested in the cash. This bulletin board itself is regularly visited by people who pose as IBS sufferers but who are later found to be connected to the company that makes the product they are praising.To avoid falling into this trap, make sure that the poster is not a new member to the boards; make sure that they are not posting the exact same sales pitch on other forums or messageboards; and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!And if all this sounds a bit cynical...This is a genuine job ad, found on Craigslist:"Forum poster" "We are a small marketing firm which specializes in forum 'jump starts' (helping a business owner get a forum started). We have Word of Mouth Simulation (where a product information is posted on a public forum). This should not be confused with spam. We are not looking for writers to post one-line posts with a link, we need educated people to write well thought-out posts and maintain forum usernames on several sites. Although sometimes a post can be as simple as "Hey has anyone heard of this product? I'm thinking about getting one, what do you think?" We give suggestions on what could be posted but generally we leave this up to you."For more information on how to avoid buying an ineffective or dangerous health product, check out these links:http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/health/frdheal.htmhttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/features/healthclaims.htmhttp://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/ds-savvy.htmlhttp://www.fda.gov/FDAC/features/1999/699_fraud.html





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