Here’s a quick riddle – what’s lively, interesting and obsessed with bottoms?
Last month was IBS Awareness Month, and I attended the annual IBS Network conference in Sheffield, an event which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
It’s amazing that a bowel condition can bring so many people together! For me, it was a great chance to me to catch up with my ARCH (Association of Registered Colonic Hydrotherapists) colleagues but it was also excellent from the professional point of view.
Doctors and patients perceive illness in very different ways. Doctors see Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as a collection of symptoms that seem to originate in the bowel but are not explained by any disease that can be readily diagnosed by the tests at their disposal. If you’re the patient, it’s an unsettling, confusing illness that not only affects your gut but also other parts of the body and even the way you feel emotionally. It’s all the more confusing because it isn’t there all the time, but comes and goes according to what you eat, your daily routine and even your mood. It becomes part of everyday life, and affects every aspect. It can even take over your life, particularly if your doctor can’t find the cause or don’t know what treatment to suggest.
IBS represents a clash of cultures. Doctors are trained to make the diagnosis, find the cause and apply a specific treatment to put it right – you might say they like a pill for every ill. Patients just want something that can calm their symptoms. Many find short term relief with diet, colonic hydrotherapy or a holistic treatment which gives them space to relax and think, although it may take a complete change in lifestyle to bring about a long term remission or cure.
What I really enjoyed about the IBS Network conference was that it was focussed on the patients’ agenda with the aim of increasing mutual understanding. In the future, this may lead to more effective management of IBS by the patients themselves, facilitated by health care professionals.
If you’re suffering from the symptoms of IBS such as diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping or bloating, just get in touch on 0161 207 4034.
We now offer a straightforward online booking system as well, so it’s easier than ever to take control of your IBS.