Sunday, 30 June 2013

4 Resources to Help Manage Your IBS

Last month I had the opportunity to work with the creator of IBS Impact – a blog and website run by and for those with IBS.  I wrote an article for their blog about Canadian IBS resources and certainly hope to contribute to the site again.  In an effort to ensure that my readers don’t miss out on some of this information, I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.  If you are not Canadian – don’t fret!  You will likely still find a gem or two in here that will help you in your IBS journey.

Did you know that approximately five million Canadians now suffer from IBS?  If you are reading this blog, you are likely one of them.  Are you constantly looking for credible resources that can help you cope with the reality of unruly bowels?  Check out the sources below for a few that I would recommend:

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF): The CDHF has created a free app compatible on both iPhone and Android called GI BodyGuard.  This app will track your bowel patterns, your pain level, food, medication and other symptoms.  If you suspect you may have a bowel condition, you may want to consider using this app before you see a physician so that you can show your GP exactly what you are experiencing.  I certainly wish this had been available when my symptoms first started! 

Canadian Society of Intestinal Research:  I am not a pamphlet-lover and find that the information available in them is often obvious; however, I would recommend taking advantage of the free pamphlet-mailing service available for a multitude of digestive conditions.  The information available in these was actually pretty great and would be an excellent starting point for someone newly-diagnosed or perhaps for someone trying to determine if they have a certain digestive condition. 

Capital District Health Authority (Nova Scotia):  Through the Nutrition Education Clinic in Halifax and Dartmouth, the CDHA offers an Irritable Bowel Syndrome Program.   After a referral from your GP, patients can take part in one of the regularly scheduled classes where you interact with other sufferers and a nutritionist to learn how to manage your symptoms through nutrition. If you have any questions I would recommend calling the number available on their website – I called to inquire about the program when researching my article for IBS Impact and they were extremely helpful. 

Can’t Wait:  In this technology-crazed world, I cannot help but include another app recommendation!  The Can’t Wait app (developed by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada) is your key to finding the closest washroom when you feel as if… well – as if you can’t wait!  Using your phone’s GPS, this app will generate a list of the closest public washrooms so that you can stop panicking and get on with your day.  The only drawback is that it is not 100% accurate – I did test it from my home and it did not identify the washroom that was actually the closest; however, if you were in a downtown core I believe it would be more accurate than in a rural setting.    

Now, I know there are likely many resources that are not covered above, so my question to you is – what is the most useful resource you have stumbled across to manage your digestive disorder?  I would love to compile a list and I am certain your fellow readers would be appreciative if you would share your go-to source for support, information or for symptom management.   

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