Imagine having repeated stomach pains along with sudden diarrhea for months. Imagine not
knowing when to expect the sudden onset and always needing to be within steps of a bathroom.
This is what life can be like for someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D).
IBS-D is a common disorder affecting mainly the bowel, and characterized by some of the
symptoms I described above.
Research shows that more than 16 million patients (primarily women) in the U.S. suffer from
IBS-D. What’s even more troubling is that it takes the average patient with IBS 4 years for a
Advocate for your Best Health – Learning about Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea
In October I had the chance to fly to Orlando to attend a special dinner and presentation hosted
by Salix Pharmaceuticals during the World Congress of Gastroenterology. At this event, I
learned more about what life is like for patients with IBS-D and the efforts that are underway to
improve diagnosis and treatment for the millions of people who still don’t have a clear diagnosis
for this disease.
Dealing with my own medical issues and having a daughter with an immune disorder, I know
just how frustrating it can be to wonder and worry about your health when you are looking for
At the October event, Salix did a screening of a special TV segment called “Easing the Pain and
Symptoms of IBS-D,” which aired on Lifetime TV’s Access Health, to help build awareness
about IBS-D. The segment showcased what life is like for two patients, both of them women,
with IBS-D. Some really surprising facts about this condition, diagnosis and treatment came to
life in this health segment and in the conversations taking place at the screening.
I find it is so important to educate yourself about various common health problems since, often
as a patient, you might need to advocate for yourself with your doctors and consider various
For example, 67% of IBS patients wait almost a year to talk to their doctors about their
symptoms. Bathroom woes can be embarrassing to chat about…am I right? That’s something
most of us can relate to. However, I believe it is so important to open up honestly when
discussing any health issues with your doctor. Why continue suffering in silence?
At the event, I was able to chat in person with the two patients from the TV special and heard all about their health woes with IBS-D and how they suffered prior to being diagnosed. Both women suffered terribly for many years until receiving a diagnosis and ultimate treatment. One spoke about having to change her job. Another was forced to stop avid traveling to accommodate her unexpected stomach and bathroom issues, which was due to her IBS-D. For one patient, Ashley, once she met her gastroenterologist, Dr. Mark Pimentel, she was treated for IBS-D and has since been managing her symptoms.
As distressing as the journey has been for these two women, both of their stories offer hope. Salix wants to extend that hope to the many others whose IBS-D remains undiagnosed and untreated. They’ve launched a multi-million-dollar campaign about IBS-D. The goal is to educate patients and health care practitioners alike to spotlight this disease state with the goal of getting patients the help they need.
I think learning about various health issues like IBS-D is so important, as you never know when you or a loved one might need to advocate for your own health. When it comes to your well being, I encourage everyone to arm himself or herself with information.
Definitely check out this informative segment about IBS-D here.
Note: This post is sponsored by Salix Pharmaceuticals. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.