So…it is just a little over a month away until IBS Awareness month! And we have quite a few things brewing behind the scenes. Last year I started the #IBelieveinyourStory campaign in an effort for all us to band together in solidarity to support those with IBS. I know what it is like to navigate the healthcare system with debilitating digestive symptoms…it. is. not. easy. To make matters worse, there is SO much misinformation online it makes me CRAZY!
I founded the #IBelieveinyourStory campaign in 2017 to provide a safe place and a gentle nudge to individuals that suffer with IBS to share their story. Because sharing personal stories of struggle and success not only helps you heal BUT also helps others suffering with similar symptoms feel less alone. Hey…we are all in this together, right?
I share my story here. I affectionately call this my ‘crying video’. Though I do cry, don’t worry, my video just exposes a little more of me to you and hopefully inspires you rather than makes you feel sad! 🙂
The #IBelieveinyourStory campaign has 3 major missions…and many little ones! The 3 major goals include:
- Raise awareness of IBS & SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Raise funds for research
- Provide science based (ummmm…NO pseudo-science or fear mongering, please) patient education resources.
My hope is that each and everyone of you participate in this mission. And here is why:
By sharing your story or using your social media channels to let others know they are not alone in their struggles…quite simply makes the world a better place. If we all shout off the rooftop that IBS patients deserve more…people will start listening. IBS is nothing to be embarrassed or silent about…we need to get loud, perhaps talk more about poop & bloating, and provide support to those that desperately need you.
If you want to know the truth about funding for IBS. Here it is. For the 40 million plus Americans suffering with IBS, the US government (NIH) provides about 12 cents per individual with IBS for research. Yup. Pathetic. So, what can you do? Donate! Help smart, compassionate researchers learn more about IBS and provide effective, science-based treatments for you…or your friends, neighbors, firefighter, local kiddos with IBS…because IBS does not discriminate!
We continue to work behind the scenes and via social media to provide science-based messaging and nutritional tips to help YOU or those you know maximize their gut health. Follow me on Instagram for fun inspirational quotes, poop talk, low FODMAP recipe inspo and general gut health tips. Or check out my Twitter feed where I tend to share more science-based articles and news about digestive health research.
During IBS awareness month, use your own Twitter or Instagram account –or retweet or repost my feed using the hashtag #IBelieveinyourStory. Share inspirational quotes and show your love and support of the #IBS community.
In recent years, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth research has blossomed and awareness for this debilitating condition has grown. I was diagnosed with SIBO in 2003 and had to navigate the medical system alone…Mark Pimentel’s research has made a difference in my life….and so many others. Mark’s lab is one that I have highlighted here as a great place for you to donate! Mark is a true maverick and keeps paving an uncharted path in this area of science.
Bill Chey’s group at U. Michigan is close to my heart as he and others at U. Michigan are studying the role of the low FODMAP diet not only for gut symptoms but also quality of life measures and the effect of low FODMAP diet on LPS (lipopolysaccharides), a bacterial endotoxin associated with increases pain sensation of the gut, intestinal permeability and inflammation! You can donate to Bill’s lab too!
What you can do now? Start sketching out your story to share, find inspiration quotes to post on Instagram, save some money to donate during IBS Awareness month, get yourself mentally ready to join forces with me and many others that support patients with IBS during the month of April and really everyday, to say, YEEEEESSSSS….we believe in you and your strength to get better! We support you. #IBelieveinyourStory. Yes, I do!