IBS Impact’s Top 25 (or 29!) Countries and Top 20 Posts of 2018

For this first week of the New Year, IBS Impact is once again participating in the common December-January blogger tradition of highlighting popular posts and interesting blog statistics from the year just past.

This blog reached readers in 110 countries and territories during 2018. The cumulative total is 159 for the seven years WordPress has made country statistics available to individual blog owners. While the total number of hits in 2018 was a decrease from 2016 and 2017, it was an increase over all of the annual totals for each year from 2011-2015, despite fewer new posts published this past year than in earlier years.

While, as usual, the top 5 countries this year are ones where English is an official or major secondary language, total blog hits span every continent, underscoring that IBS is a global problem, not the common, inaccurate stereotype of it as a nuisance disorder caused by overindulgent North American diets and lifestyles. A list of the top 29– four separate ties between two countries this year– better reflects the diversity of countries of origin represented, which appears to change somewhat every year. It is hoped that the vast majority are legitimate visits, even from those who might not have been searching specifically for information about IBS, and not simply potential spammers. In order, the countries are:

1.  United States

2. United Kingdom

3. Canada

4. Australia

5. India

6. Japan

7. Italy

8. Indonesia

9. Taiwan

10. Turkey

11. Philippines

12. Sweden

13. Germany

14. Netherlands

15. Egypt

16. Belgium and Pakistan (tie)

17. Thailand

18. Vietnam

19. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia (tie)

20. New Zealand

21. South Korea

22. Ireland and Spain (tie)

23. Mexico

24. Poland and Portugal (tie)

25. Finland

Below are the top 20 individual posts that received the most hits during 2018. The #1 post, on the Rome IV criteria, was published in early June 2016 and quickly grabbed the top spot by very wide margins for 2016-2017, underscoring its importance to both people with IBS and health care professionals in the gastrointestinal disorders community. Its position at the top of the list continued throughout 2018. Blog stats indicated a wide range of referring sites from social media to leading medical research centers and Japanese Wikipedia. It is heartening to know that crucial information about these highly accurate international criteria, in existence in some form for 28 years but not well known outside the functional gastrointestinal/gut-brain disorders professional community, is being disseminated daily, in part by this blog

In a surprise, a post published in October 2017 about the then-recent death of celebrity fashion designer Mychael Knight, apparently from a gastrointestinal disorder he wrongly believed to be and that was widely reported as IBS, gained momentum in 2018, amassing frequent hits most weeks. The increase in hits has been large enough for it to climb from #15 in 2017 to #2 for 2018. IBS Impact is pleased that this blog has been able to provide clear explanations in layperson’s language, as well as numerous evidence-based links, to correct the inaccurate reporting that remains online from many media sources stating that Mr. Knight died of IBS. While his passing at such a young age after apparent health struggles is extremely unfortunate, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is never a life-threatening condition, and newly diagnosed individuals, their loved ones, and the general public deserve to be reassured of that.

The #2 post for 2016-2017, on functional gastrointestinal disorders like IBS being classified as service-connected disabilities for U.S. military veterans, was originally published in 2011, soon after the inception of this blog, and held the top spot consistently every year from 2011-2015 and the first half of 2016 until the introduction of Rome IV that year, dropping to #2 for 2016-2017. In 2018, it came in at #5, This suggests that while the issue has received less attention in the past year, it is still a concern to many, and should not be forgotten.

Like the ones mentioned above, most of the posts in 2018’s top 20 list were first published in 2011 through 2017. However, they continue to attract attention because they address topics that are of ongoing interest to people with IBS. Perhaps longtime readers can refresh their memories and newer readers will discover something interesting and useful.

There are also several posts from 2018 on this top 20 list that readers may have missed when they were first published in recent months. If so, take a look.

Please note that since this blog has been in continuous existence for 8 1/2 years, some links embedded in posts that are several years old, while valid at the time of publication, have inevitably become out of date. You may find the updated or a similar current resource on our main website. If not, feel free to leave a comment, and IBS Impact or other readers may be able to assist. In order, the posts are:

1. New Rome IV Diagnostic Criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Unveiled May 2016, June 9, 2016

2.Designer Mychael Knight Could NOT Have Died from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), October 23, 2017

3. Education Laws and Resources for Students with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), August 27, 2013

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and a Debate on “Can’t Wait” Cards,  November 25, 2012  Please note that the blog originally linked in the above post as a basis for discussion no longer exists on WordPress.com. However, the ideas raised and the invitation by IBS Impact for readers and the IBS community to continue to discuss related concerns are still valid.

5. Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders/IBS Considered Presumptive Service-Connected Disabilities for U.S. Gulf War Veterans,  August 12, 2011

6. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), July 30, 2012

7. Restroom Access Act (Ally’s Law) Updates in Maryland and Maine, May 10, 2013

8. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and the Myth of a Cure, June 19, 2014

9. IBS and Extraintestinal (non-GI) Symptoms,  September 6, 2011

10. Resources for People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Australia 2017, February 16, 2017

11. More Things to Say and Not to Say to People with IBS, February 27, 2013

12. 15 Common Misconceptions That Shouldn’t Exist About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), November 8, 2013

13. Public Restroom Access and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS),  February 21, 2011

14. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is Not a Diagnosis of Exclusion, October 9, 2011

15. Massachusetts Enacts Restroom Access Act,  August 20, 2012

16. April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month 2018, April 1, 2018

17. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Asks Manufacturers to Limit Quantity of Loperamide (Imodium) in Packages, February 7,  2018

18. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) Seeks Volunteers for New Patient Panel, June 18 2018

19. 10 Years and 11 IBS Awareness Months: Progress for the IBS Community Continues, May 8, 2018

20. Guest Post for IBS Awareness Month: Looking Back and Paying It Forward: A Life With IBS, April 29, 2018

This blog was begun in July 2011, a few months after the launch of the main IBS Impact website, and a bit over a year after the inception of IBS Impact itself. It is intended as a supplement to the many resources on our main site, one that can be updated relatively quickly with time-sensitive news, advocacy and clinical trial opportunities, as well as providing well-researched, scientifically reputable information on IBS and commentary on broader issues affecting the IBS community that may not be widely discussed on other sites. It is meant to be useful to a broad readership: people with IBS and related conditions, both those who may have lived with IBS for some time and those with recent onset or who are new to IBS sites online, family members and friends, health care and human service professionals who may interact with us, and the general public. We are pleased that it continues to fulfill this role.

IBS Impact wishes everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous and productive New Year and looks forward in 2019 to advances in awareness, advocacy, research, treatment and community support systems that benefit the worldwide IBS community.

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