Jacqui Felgate: Why we have to discuss IBS

The Home of Wellness co-host Jacqui Felgate reveals how she copes with irritable bowel syndrome – and why it shouldn’t be a taboo topic.

Bloating. Cramps. Stomach ache … and worse.

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Like nearly one in 5 Australians, I undergo from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In my 20s, I’d have debilitating ache after consuming – that feeling the place your abdomen is so sore and bloated you possibly can’t even do up your denims.

It damage simply to the touch it and my abdomen would puff out like a balloon.

Put merely, you’re feeling such as you would possibly simply burst.

IBS is tough to diagnose and exhausting to deal with.

On the time, I used to be so embarrassed and actually felt like I used to be the one younger lady I knew who suffered from IBS.

I’d sit at uni, then later within the workplace, having these spasms for hours — generally they’d be so robust they’d take your breath away.

Now a mum in my 40s, I have a tendency to speak about all the pieces!

When you’ve had a few children I discovered you actually don’t care what individuals know or take into consideration your physique.

And by speaking about it, I realised that so many individuals I do know — household, associates and colleagues — undergo from IBS or comparable circumstances.

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My IBS triggers

I do know precisely what my triggers are: deep-fried meals, stress and alcohol.

And I do know precisely once I’ve overdone it.

IBS is extra prevalent in girls and might have a extremely profound impact in your life.

A assessment within the Australian Journal of Normal Apply notes as a result of it’s so advanced it often responds poorly to remedy, however there may be “encouraging proof” food regimen might help handle it, each short-term and long-term.

I loosely observe the FODMAP food regimen and discover that slicing out a number of issues (the aforementioned fried meals and issues like onion and cabbage) actually helps.

I really like pasta and white bread and I’m positive if I lower these out as nicely, I’d really feel even higher.

And don’t even get me began on wine.

It’s undoubtedly a juggling act.

How social media is normalising IBS conversations

Extra individuals are speaking about intestine well being than ever earlier than (would you consider it?), due to TikTok.

The hashtag #IBStiktok has acquired greater than 263 million views and #hotgirlswithIBS has clocked up 45 million-plus views.

In January, physique positivity advocate Mik Zazon, who has shut to at least one million followers on Instagram, posted a photograph of her bloated tummy, a thumbs up and the caption, “Simply an IBS journey constipated baddie”.

The entire level is normalising one thing that so many people stay with every single day.

The professionals and cons of the social media dialog

One of many superb issues about social media, I believe, is realising you’re not the one one which suffers from an at occasions, embarrassing situation.

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Analysis introduced on the American Faculty of Gastroenterology’s 2022 scientific assembly discovered TikTok performed an essential position in normalising IBS.

However one of many researchers, Faraz Jafri, of the College of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical Faculty, stated those that undergo from IBS ought to train warning.

“Though TikTok could have worthwhile data concerning IBS and its remedy, you will need to pay attention to misinformation and seek the advice of your doctor when deciding to start out a brand new food regimen or drugs,” he stated.

With a household historical past of bowel most cancers, I’ve misplaced rely of the variety of colonoscopies I’ve had over the journey.

I’ve had operations to take away polyps, which all fortunately turned out to be completely fantastic.

These could be uncomfortable conversations to have.

However speaking about intestine well being is so essential.

The extra we discuss it, the extra we scale back the stigma.

#hotgirlswithIBS? I’m on board with that.

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Written by The Home of Wellness TV co-host Jacqui Felgate.