IBS charity backs international awareness month

4th April 2016

A national charity which supports people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is backing a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the condition.

The IBS Network is supporting IBS Awareness Month in April, which is designed to focus attention on the importance of IBS diagnosis, treatment and quality of life. The Sheffield-based charity hopes the campaign will help to reduce the stigma associated with IBS by encouraging people to talk more about the condition. To coincide with IBS awareness month, the charity is also hosting a free one day event on 16 April at the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria Hotel, Sheffield, inviting both patients and the health professionals that care for them to come together to discuss the condition. Experts speaking at the one day event include Dr Anton Emmanuel and Professors Qasim Aziz and Peter Whorwell, and a team of patient experts, including Sam Bearfoot, Angie Usher and Susan Frisby. Topics to be discussed will include what it is like to live with IBS and what can be done about it, does the diagnosis matter, what patients can eat, what do patients want from research and how can patients work more effectively with their health professionals. The event will also feature a cookery demonstration from food expert and nutritionist, Dr Joan Ransley, who will demonstrate how people with IBS can prepare simple and delicious meals. Delegates will also have chance to browse the exhibition, which offers companies the opportunity to showcase products for IBS. Alison Reid, chief executive at The IBS Network, said: -IBS Awareness Month is a fantastic initiative to raise awareness of the condition and to encourage those who are living with it to speak out. -The idea behind the campaign is to ensure that people don't suffer in silence. It's vital people seek a diagnosis and, although treatment varies from person to person, we believe that with the right information and support individuals can manage their IBS and are able to lead a normal life. IBS is the name given to a long-term gastrointestinal condition, characterised by a combination of otherwise unexplained symptoms that affect the colon or large intestine. These include abdominal pain and spasms, often relieved by going to the toilet, diarrhoea, constipation or an erratic bowel habit, as well as bloating or swelling of the abdomen. It affects around a third of the population at some point in their lives and about one in ten people suffer symptoms severe enough to seek help from their GP. Through membership, the IBS network provides access to specialist healthcare professionals for medical advice, use of the IBS Network Medical Helpline which offers confidential support and guidance from specialist advisors. Tickets for the IBS Network conference are free of charge to health care professionals and those living with IBS. However, for those who are representatives of, or employed by, a commercial company, tickets are £25. To book a place at this ground-breaking conference, visit www.theibsnetwork.org, email info@theibsnetwork.org or phone the IBS Network on 0114 272 3253.

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