Like many medical conditions, there are misunderstandings and misconceptions about what Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) does to a person’s body. It can be of the utmost value to you to manage your symptoms. Gandhi once said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” I genuinely believe that to be an accurate way of describing how we should take care of our health. It’s worth our time and energy to pursue a healthy lifestyle and disregard things that aren’t going to help you live it.

Myths about IBS

Toss out any notions that are hindering your ability to tackle your illness. It is essential to clear up these five myths about IBS.

Myth #1: Everyone’s Symptoms Are All The Same

There are so many varying degrees of IBS that it’s hard to pinpoint one set of symptoms for everyone. As a general description, the disease consists of bouts of constipation combined with loose stools (diarrhea) and terrible stomach pain with cramps. However, the severity of each aspect of the disease is different for each sufferer.

For this reason, I encourage you to chart your symptoms. It will help you convey the unique experience you are going through each month when you meet with your doctor. Armed with this information, they will best be able to devise an individual plan to help alleviate your illness’s worst of the disorder.

Myth #2: It’s Mainly A Woman’s Disease

IBS affects three times as many women as it does men, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that males aren’t affected as frequently or as seriously as women.

Due to the way women and men deal with IBS, the numbers may be a little off. According to a report from The National Institute of Health, there are a lot of men who have IBS. However, it has been found that they are less likely to get treatment than women.

In addition to their reluctance to discuss their IBS with their doctors, women appear to be more open with their relatives and friends about addressing significant health difficulties in general, whereas males tend to keep silent.

Thus, the decreased number of documented instances may contribute to more women counted with the diagnosis. 

People who have IBS symptoms should not let gender play a role in dealing with their symptoms. It’s essential for anyone with IBS symptoms to get treatment for their digestive problems, primarily if it’s affecting their quality of life.

Myth #3: IBS Is Caused By a Poor Diet

Although the food you put in your body can undoubtedly impact the symptoms you’re experiencing; a poor diet is not the cause of IBS.

Medical research has not yet pinpointed the exact cause of IBS, but some theories from many doctors attribute the cause of IBS to things like:

  • the result of abnormalities in the gastrointestinal system
  • genetics
  • the incorrect behavior of colonic muscle contractions when moving food through your system

Because some foods can make you feel sick, it’s important to remember that IBS isn’t caused by what you eat, even though certain foods can make you feel sick.

Myth #4: Stress Creates IBS

Just as your diet isn’t to blame for your illness, stress is also not the cause of IBS. While it can certainly make symptoms worse, the solid head-and-gut connection does not create IBS in your body.

It is always good to manage your stress, but I don’t think a stress-free life would make your IBS symptoms disappear. Instead, your illness will need to be managed by medication and nutritional adjustments.

Myth #5: It’s All In Your Head

Let me clarify a notion I’ve encountered much too often: IBS is not all in your head.

As a physician, it’s my job to listen carefully to my patients to diagnose their illnesses. It’s a myth that your mind causes IBS. People who live with this disorder know full well how painful the physical ramifications of the disease are to live with.

If your doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously or suggests you see a psychiatrist or other mental health expert, find a new doctor immediately.

I hope you consider these five myths as you deal with your IBS. I have written an ebook with more advice on managing IBS along with great IBS-friendly recipes naturally. Follow this link to download this guide for free.

The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.
Dr. Nandi

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