Despite the fact that IBS is a condition that’s been recognized by the medical community since the 1800s (1849 to be exact), few of us can still talk about it openly with others. Sharing ones’ concerns about diarrhea, bloating, constipation, or even the amount gas that’s emitted is not an easy conversation. This is one of the reasons why World IBS Day exists — to make it easier for people to talk about their condition.
Monday, April 19 is World IBS Day. During this brief moment in time, people with IBS have the chance to make their voices heard and have their symptoms recognized and acknowledged.
The idea for World IBS Day was started two years ago by Jeffrey Roberts, founder and executive director of the IBS Patient Support Group. The intent was to begin a worldwide conversation about IBS by increasing awareness of the condition and bringing patients together into a community where they can share their challenges and successes without shame.
IBS support groups in the US, Australia, United Kingdom, and Canada joined forces to launch the first event through social media. Currently, the awareness day has succeeded in growing its inclusive community on Facebook along with regular real time chats on Zoom, Google Meet, and Twitter.
April 19 is World IBS Day Remember to share #Unselfie, #WorldIBSDay
The IBS Patient Support Group has been a key player in elevating awareness of the disease in the healthcare industry. The organization was key in bringing critical IBS medications back to the market after the FDA pulled them off. Roberts has appeared in newspapers, on the Discovery Channel, and National Public Radio to spread awareness about IBS. He has also published books on the topic.
This year’s theme for World IBS Day is dubbed “#Unselfie,” in which people post pictures of themselves on social media and encourage others to share what an IBS-free life might look like and what they’re grateful for. The official color of World IBS Day is periwinkle, also known as lavender blue. Folks are encouraged to wear the color to show their support.
Those who wish to participate in IBS Patient Support Group’s campaign can email their photo with a caption firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about World IBS Day, visit worldibsday.org/ or follow them on social media at @worldibsday.
Until IBS patients can begin talking about their symptoms and conditions without shame, fear, or anxiety, there will always be a need for #WorldIBSDay.