Veterans with IBS and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders 2016

November 11, 2016

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day in the U.S., and a good time to highlight veterans’ issues. U.S. veterans  and current military service members who have been deployed in the Persian Gulf/Southwest Asia region at any time since 1990 have been shown by multiple studies to be at even higher risk of IBS and other functional GI disorders than the general population. Conservative estimates put the incidence of functional GI disorders in the general population as 25%, most commonly irritable bowel syndrome. For veterans and military service members of the Persian Gulf era, the estimate may reach as high as 40%. This appears to be in part because of the high incidence of known functional GI risk factors during active duty, such as severe stress or trauma and/or food or water contamination that results in post-infectious IBS  (IBS-PI) or other post-infectious functional GI and motility disorders.

Here is IBS Impact’s August 12, 2011 post on the recognition four years ago by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of irritable bowel syndrome and functional gastrointestinal disorders as presumptive service connected disabilities for Gulf War veterans.

IFFGD has done considerable work in the past several years in advocating for federal funding and other legislative needs specific to veterans, conducting outreach to service members and veterans and encouraging those affected by functional GI and motility disorders to participate in veteran-specific self-advocacy efforts. Since fiscal year 2012, functional GI disorders have been included in the Department of Defense Gulf War Illness Research Program, which is part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. However, advocacy from the veteran community and supporters must occur on an ongoing basis for funding to be continued each fiscal year. Interest in veteran issues has been one reason for Congressional support of the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2015, HR 2311, currently in the House of Representatives, aimed toward improving the lives of affected veterans and civilians alike, and must continue to build.

As this blog reported on January 20, 2014, the depth of need for further awareness, services, support, and research in the veteran community is not necessarily well known even within the Department of Defense or other military entities, the media or the general public. The post linked in the second paragraph of this post about the recognition of IBS and other functional GI disorders as presumptive service-connected disabilities, more than five years after original publication, has continued to receive consistent hits from readers nearly every day. By an extremely wide margin, from the inception of this blog in mid-2011 through 2015, it was the #1 most read individual post, of over 200 cumulative posts on this blog. It was also the #1 most read post for each individual year.  Not until the release of the Rome IV international diagnostic criteria in late May of this year, did it drop to #2 on the all-time and 2016-to-date lists.Clearly, a very strong need exists for information and resources on this topic. It is hoped that given the relatively higher impact of functional GI disorders among veterans and service members, and their relatively higher profile as a constituent group, any advances on behalf of the affected veterans and service members will eventually carry over to people with functional GI disorders in general.

IBS Impact encourages veterans, service members and families in the IBS and functional GI community, as well as those who support them,  to familiarize themselves with the issues and resources, and to consider participating in self-advocacy activities. We look forward to feedback from readers as to how IBS Impact may be able to support such efforts further.


Veterans with IBS and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders 2015

November 11, 2015

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day in the U.S., and a good time to highlight veterans’ issues. U.S. veterans  and current military service members who have been deployed in the Persian Gulf/Southwest Asia region at any time since 1990 have been shown by multiple studies to be at even higher risk of IBS and other functional GI disorders than the general population. Conservative estimates put the incidence of functional GI disorders in the general population as 25%, most commonly irritable bowel syndrome. For veterans and military service members of the Persian Gulf era, the estimate may reach as high as 40%. This appears to be in part because of the high incidence of known functional GI risk factors during active duty, such as severe stress or trauma and/or food or water contamination that results in post-infectious IBS  (IBS-PI) or other post-infectious functional GI and motility disorders.

Here is IBS Impact’s August 12, 2011 post on the recognition four years ago by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of irritable bowel syndrome and functional gastrointestinal disorders as presumptive service connected disabilities for Gulf War veterans.

IFFGD and its grassroots arm, the Digestive Health Alliance, have done considerable work in the past few years in advocating for federal funding and other legislative needs specific to veterans, conducting outreach to service members and veterans and encouraging those affected by functional GI and motility disorders to participate in veteran-specific self-advocacy efforts. Since fiscal year 2012, functional GI disorders have been included in the Department of Defense Gulf War Illness Research Program, which is part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. However, advocacy from the veteran community and supporters must occur on an ongoing basis for funding to be continued each fiscal year. Interest in veteran issues has been one reason for Congressional support of the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2015, HR 2311, currently in the House of Representatives, aimed toward improving the lives of affected veterans and civilians alike, and must continue to build.

As this blog reported on January 20, 2014, the depth of need for further awareness, services, support, and research in the veteran community is not necessarily well known even within the Department of Defense or other military entities, the media or the general public. The post linked in the second paragraph of this post about the recognition of IBS and other functional GI disorders as presumptive service-connected disabilities, more than  four years after original publication, has continued to receive consistent hits from readers nearly every day. By an extremely wide margin, it has been the #1 most read individual post, of over 200 posts covering over five calendar years since the inception of this blog. It has also been the #1 most read post for each individual year. Clearly, a very strong need exists for information and resources on this topic. It is hoped that given the relatively higher impact of functional GI disorders among veterans and service members, and their relatively higher profile as a constituent group, any advances on behalf of the affected veterans and service members will eventually carry over to people with functional GI disorders in general.

IBS Impact encourages veterans, service members and families in the IBS and functional GI community, as well as those who support them,  to familiarize themselves with the issues and resources, and to consider participating in self-advocacy activities. We look forward to feedback from readers as to how IBS Impact may be able to support such efforts further.


Veterans with IBS and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders 2014

November 11, 2014

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day in the U.S., and a good time to highlight veterans’ issues. U.S. veterans  and current military service members who have been deployed in the Persian Gulf/Southwest Asia region at any time since 1990 have been shown by multiple studies to be at even higher risk of IBS and other functional GI disorders than the general population. Conservative estimates put the incidence of functional GI disorders in the general population as 25%, most commonly irritable bowel syndrome. For veterans and military service members of the Persian Gulf era, the estimate may reach as high as 40%. This appears to be in part because of the high incidence of known functional GI risk factors during active duty, such as severe stress or trauma and/or food or water contamination that results in post-infectious IBS  (IBS-PI) or other post-infectious functional GI and motility disorders.

Here is IBS Impact’s August 12, 2011 post on the recognition three years ago by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of irritable bowel syndrome and functional gastrointestinal disorders as presumptive service connected disabilities for Gulf War veterans.

IFFGD and its grassroots arm, the Digestive Health Alliance, have done considerable work in the past few years in advocating for federal funding and other legislative needs specific to veterans, conducting outreach to service members and veterans and encouraging those affected by functional GI and motility disorders to participate in veteran-specific self-advocacy efforts. Since fiscal year 2012, functional GI disorders have been included in the Department of Defense Gulf War Illness Research Program, which is part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. However, advocacy from the veteran community and supporters must occur on an ongoing basis for funding to be continued each fiscal year. As of July 2014, the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved funding for fiscal year 2015 as part of a Department of Defense appropriations bill that then was to move to consideration by the full Senate.

As this blog reported on January 20, 2014, the depth of need for further awareness, services, support, and research in the veteran community is not necessarily well known even within the Department of Defense or other military entities, the media or the general public. The post linked in the second paragraph of this post about the recognition of IBS and other functional GI disorders as presumptive service-connected disabilities, more than three years after original publication, has continued to receive consistent hits from readers nearly every day. By an extremely wide margin, it has been the #1 most read individual post, of over 180 posts covering nearly four calendar years since the inception of this blog. It has also been the #1 most read post for each individual year. Clearly, a very strong need exists for information and resources on this topic. It is hoped that given the relatively higher impact of functional GI disorders among veterans and service members, and their relatively higher profile as a constituent group, any advances on behalf of the affected veterans and service members will eventually carry over to people with functional GI disorders in general.

IBS Impact encourages veterans, service members and families in the IBS and functional GI community, as well as those who support them,  to familiarize themselves with the issues and resources, and to consider participating in self-advocacy activities. We look forward to feedback from readers as to how IBS Impact may be able to support such efforts further.


Gut Week 2014 in the United Kingdom and Ireland is August 11-17, 2014

August 3, 2014

Next week is National Gut Week in the U.K. and neighboring Ireland, and a good time to update readers in those countries on some of the available resources for irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal conditions in that region of the world.

The official site for Gut Week, sponsored by various charities, organizations and companies relevant to a range of digestive health conditions provides some general information on the website and links to other gastrointestinal resources It also offers information packets, including some articles from leading professionals in the U.K. and Ireland, available in hard copy by request or by download to people who provide contact information from within the U.K. or Ireland. There are also recipes and contests on the site in which to participate during the stated week.

One sponsor of Gut Week is The IBS Network, formerly The Gut Trust, in Sheffield and is the national charity for irritable bowel syndrome in the U.K. For a modest annual fee, members get access to a telephone helpline, support groups, a magazine and other written information, news about advocacy, such as the work of Truckers’ Toilets, U.K., which advocates for clean and plentiful facilities for long distance professional drivers, but whose work will ultimately benefit everyone. The IBS Network frequently posts U.K based research studies seeking volunteers,  an online self-care tool, and a “Can’t Wait” card meant to assist people with IBS in quickly communicating to others the need for access to a public toilet. The IBS Network also has an online community available to members.

As noted previously on this blog, some people with IBS in the U.K. have found RADAR keys, meant to unlock disability-accessible public toilets, useful. They are so named for the Royal Association for Disability Rights, which has now merged with other organizations to form Disability U.K., located in London.  In addition to selling RADAR keys and guides and smartphone apps of locations where they can be used, Disability U.K. provides a wide range of information and resources for people with all types of disabilities and medical conditions, including general advice on legal protections, benefits and other disability advocacy within the U.K. Many of these apply to IBS.

It is IBS Impact’s understanding that experiences with people with IBS receiving disability benefits within the U.K. or Ireland vary greatly. Some people are able to successfully obtain them, but others not. The following government websites have useful information on benefits and other disability-related topics: Gov.uk disability information in the U.K. and Citizens Information Board disability information in Ireland.

For evidence-based guidelines on treatment of IBS, see the British Society of Gastroenterology (2007), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2008)  and the British Dietetic Association (2012). The South Manchester Functional Bowel Service, headed by Peter Whorwell, MD also has a website of information on IBS, gut-directed hypnotherapy, on which Dr. Whorwell is an international authority and pioneer, and the research studies and clinical care offered at his service.

Michael Mahoney, clinical hypnotherapist in Cheshire, has different, home-based CD/MP3  hypnotherapy protocols from Dr. Whorwell’s, which many adults and children with IBS or functional abdominal pain (also known as recurrent abdominal pain)  in various countries have found helpful, as well as an audio CD designed to explain IBS to family and friends. An article by Mike can be found on the family and friends page of the IBS Impact main site. A link to details on his IBS Audio 100 program for adults can be found on the links page, and a link to details on the IBS Audio 60 program for children on the children’s page.

Also on IBS Impact’s family and friends page is an an article by Sophie Lee, an adult with IBS in the U.K. who has had IBS since childhood. Sophie offered this excerpt from her published memoir to IBS Impact in the hope of increasing awareness of IBS. Some readers may be aware that she also owns IBS Tales, a website and support forum for people with IBS to share their successes and disappointments. It draws readers internationally, but as a site originating in the U.K., has more of a U.K. focus. Please be aware that because the site is composed of personal experiences with conventional, complementary and self-help treatment approaches contributed by many people, certain information may or may not be scientifically accurate, and in any case, individual experiences will vary. IBS Impact strongly encourages positive peer support and sharing of reputable information and personal experiences by people with IBS, but does not focus on treatment advice. We urge readers to also consult the evidence-based resources given in this post and ,the individual advice of their own health care providers so that they can make the fully informed choices best for their own situations.

A newer online forum is at the Talk HealthPartnership, sponsored by NHS Choices, as discussed on this blog on July 7, 2013.

Julie Thompson, a registered dietician who works in the National Health Service and is an advisor to the IBS Network, has a blog, Clinical Alimentary, that addresses digestive health and nutrition and the scientific evidence behind various topics of interest. For a thoughtful blog with many U.K. based links concerning children with chronic pain, see Abominable Abdominal, written by a parent of a pre-teen daughter with functional abdominal pain and coeliac disease. As of last writing some months ago, the author struck a hopeful note that with appropriate treatment, the daughter’s debilitating symptoms had finally greatly improved.  Finally, readers may be interested in this December 24, 2011 post by IBS Impact on fascinating research supported by the Wellcome Trust on the history of IBS in the U.K.

This post is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every resource available in the United Kingdom or Ireland for IBS, but a starting point. Readers are encouraged to comment on this post or through the contact links on the IBS Impact main website if there are suggestions of topics or resources or advocacy concerns that might be addressed in the future. IBS Impact draws many site visitors from the U.K, and Ireland, is pleased to have developed positive contacts with several of the resources listed in this post. We hope that most U.K. and Irish readers will find some useful information and direction, and that constructive dialogue and cooperation with other organizations, forums and individuals will continue in the interests of all people with IBS in those countries.


Gut Week 2013 in the United Kingdom and Ireland is August 19-25, 2013

August 19, 2013

UPDATE: 08/03/2014 The most recent version of this post can be found at August 3, 2014.

This week is National Gut Week in the U.K. and neighboring Ireland, and a good time to update readers in those countries on some of the available resources for irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal conditions in that region of the world.

The official site for Gut Week, sponsored by various charities, organizations and companies relevant to a range of digestive health conditions provides some general information on the website and links to other gastrointestinal resources It also offers information packets, including some articles from leading professionals in the U.K. and Ireland, available in hard copy by request or by download to people who provide contact information from within the U.K. or Ireland. There are also contests on the site in which to participate during this week.

One sponsor of Gut Week is The IBS Network, formerly The Gut Trust, is in Sheffield and is the national charity for irritable bowel syndrome in the U.K. For a modest annual fee, members get access to a telephone helpline, support groups, a magazine and other written information, news about advocacy and research, an online self-care tool, and a “Can’t Wait” card meant to assist people with IBS in quickly communicating to others the need for access to a public toilet. The IBS Network also has an online community available to members.

As noted previously on this blog, some people with IBS in the U.K. have found RADAR keys, meant to unlock disability-accessible public toilets, useful. They are so named for the Royal Association for Disability Rights, which has now merged with other organizations to form Disability U.K., located in London.  In addition to selling RADAR keys and guides and smartphone apps of locations where they can be used, Disability U.K. provides a wide range of information and resources for people with all types of disabilities and medical conditions, including general advice on legal protections, benefits and other disability advocacy within the U.K. Many of these apply to IBS.

It is IBS Impact’s understanding that experiences with people with IBS receiving disability benefits within the U.K. or Ireland vary greatly. Some people are able to successfully obtain them, but others not. The following government websites have useful information on benefits and other disability-related topics: Gov.uk disability information in the U.K. and Citizens Information Board disability information in Ireland.

For evidence-based guidelines on treatment of IBS, see the British Society of Gastroenterology (2007), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2008)  and the British Dietetic Association (2012). The South Manchester Functional Bowel Service, headed by Peter Whorwell, MD also has a website of information on IBS, gut-directed hypnotherapy, on which Dr. Whorwell is an international authority and pioneer, and the research studies and clinical care offered at his service.

Michael Mahoney, clinical hypnotherapist in Cheshire, has different, home-based CD/MP3  hypnotherapy protocols from Dr. Whorwell’s, which many adults and children with IBS or functional abdominal pain (also known as recurrent abdominal pain)  in various countries have found helpful, as well as an audio CD designed to explain IBS to family and friends. An article by Mike can be found on the family and friends page of the IBS Impact main site. A link to details on his IBS Audio 100 program for adults can be found on the links page, and a link to details on the IBS Audio 60 program for children on the children’s page.

Also on IBS Impact’s family and friends page is an an article by Sophie Lee, an adult with IBS in the U.K. who has had IBS since childhood. Sophie offered this excerpt from her published memoir to IBS Impact in the hope of increasing awareness of IBS. Some readers may be aware that she also owns IBS Tales, a website and support forum for people with IBS to share their successes and disappointments. It draws readers internationally, but as a site originating in the U.K., has more of a U.K. focus. Please be aware that because the site is composed of personal experiences with conventional, complementary and self-help treatment approaches contributed by many people, certain information may or may not be scientifically accurate, and in any case, individual experiences will vary. IBS Impact strongly encourages positive peer support and sharing of reputable information and personal experiences by people with IBS, but does not focus on treatment advice. We urge readers to also consult the evidence-based resources given in this post and the individual advice of their own health care providers so that they can make the fully informed choices best for their own situations.

A newer online forum has just started recently at the Talk HealthPartnership, sponsored by NHS Choices, as discussed on this blog on July 7, 2013. Earlier in 2013, a new West Midlands support group created downloadable awareness posters. the founders can be contacted through IBS West Midlands.

Julie Thompson, a registered dietician who works in the National Health Service and is an advisor to the IBS Network, has a blog, Clinical Alimentary, that addresses digestive health and nutrition and the scientific evidence behind various topics of interest. Finally, readers may be interested in this December 24, 2011 post by IBS Impact on fascinating research supported by the Wellcome Trust on the history of IBS in the U.K.

This post is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every resource available in the United Kingdom or Ireland for IBS, but a starting point. Readers are encouraged to comment on this post or through the contact links on the IBS Impact main website if there are suggestions of topics or resources or advocacy concerns that might be addressed in the future. IBS Impact draws many site visitors from the U.K, and Ireland, is pleased to have developed positive contacts with several of the resources listed in this post. We hope that most U.K. and Irish readers will find some useful information and direction, and that constructive dialogue and cooperation with other organizations, forums and individuals will continue in the interests of all people with IBS in those countries.


The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

July 30, 2012

July 26, 2012 marked the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). This law was the result of years of advocacy and collaboration by numerous individuals, grassroots groups and organizations representing people with all types of disabilities, their family members, educators, health and human service professionals in the disability field, as well as prominent legislators and government officials from both major political parties, many of whom identified themselves or close family members as people with disabilities. At the time the ADA was originally signed, it was estimated, in the text of the law itself, that there were 43 million people with disabilities in the United States.  Figures released just this month from the most recent national census in 2010 now put the estimate at 56.7 million. (see page 4) The ADA was not the first national disability rights law in the U.S, nor has it been the last, but more than two decades later, it remains one of the more comprehensive ones.

Contrary to some popular misconceptions, the ADA does not include an exhaustive list of eligible disabilities.  A person with a disability is intentionally defined broadly as a person who has a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” or who has “a record of such an impairment,”  in the past,  or who may experience potential discrimination because of being “regarded as having such an impairment,” whether the person actually has one or not.

In 2008, after 18 additional years of sustained advocacy throughout the U.S., the ADA Amendments Act was signed, in order to clarify the intent of the original law, as its protections had since been narrowed and eroded by court decisions. Among other points, these amendments made it clearer that the ADA also covers potentially disabling conditions that may come and go episodically, as well as conditions that impair major bodily functions, such as digestion and bowel function. The amendments also state that the extent of disability is to be determined by when it is active without regard to mitigating measures like medication or other types of assistance that might appear to improve or resolve the disability. All of these provisions in the amendments reinforce that conditions like IBS are potential disabilities under the law.

The law prohibits discrimination against “qualified individuals with disabilities” in five broad areas known as “titles.” Title I is for employment, covering all employers with 15 or more employees; state or local disability laws sometimes set lower numbers. Title II is for public services on the state or local government level, such as libraries or motor vehicle departments, police or other emergency services, courthouses and so on, including most public transportation.  Title III is for public accommodations or services owned by private entities such as stores, restaurants, hotels, banks, theaters and other recreational venues, hospitals, doctors, lawyers and so on. Title IV is for telecommunications access for those with hearing or speech impairments, and Title V is composed of miscellaneous minor provisions. The law requires that covered employers or other entities make “reasonable accommodations,” if necessary, for people with disabilities if doing so would not pose an “undue hardship” to the employer or entity. What is considered “reasonable” or “undue hardship” is also meant to be flexible enough to encompass a wide variety of individual situations. A large corporate employer or chain of retail stores would generally be expected to have more resources to provide accommodations or to remove barriers that make a physical premises or service inaccessible than a smaller employer or business.

The law presumes that the person with the disability is the one with the right to decide whether or not to disclose the disability and the responsibility to ask for any needed accommodations. Employers are only allowed to require medical exams after hiring if these are directly related to the “essential functions” of a position and are uniformly asked of all employees in a similar class of positions. Any disability information disclosed is considered confidential, to be shared only with those with a legitimate need to know, but obviously, individuals who choose not to self-identify as people with disabilities in the first place or to indicate any accommodations that may or may not be needed cannot claim legal protection under the ADA.

The following link is the full text of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. Another article on work and school, disability benefits and the ADA is on the advocacy page of the IBS Impact main site, which also contains  links to articles on the subject by Dr. Barbara Bradley Bolen, the About.com IBS Guide. Scroll down on the linked page to find it.

Please note that disability-related access to federal government entities, airlines, housing, communications and video, and the education of children with disabilities from preschool through high school are primarily covered by different U.S. laws, though there may be some overlap in a given situation. The ADA also does not affect eligibility for disability benefits. Please see the August 12, 2011 post for more information on U.S. veteran disability compensation for IBS and other functional GI disorders and the January 17, 2012 post for a brief discussion of U.S. Social Security and IBS.

For our readers outside the U.S., links to disability information in several English-speaking countries are available on the links page of the main IBS Impact site.  Some of these nations also have their own disability rights laws and IBS Impact encourages your input on your experiences, as well as resources and issues of concern specific to your countries.

Some members of IBS Impact, including its founder, have personal and/or professional experience with the broader cross-disability advocacy community and would be pleased to share further information and resources and to answer general questions on this blog,  although for those with actual current legal situations of concern, please consult an attorney experienced in disability law in your locality. IBS Impact was founded with the hope that the IBS community will one day emulate the cross-disability, bipartisan coalitions, stretching back to as early as the 1960s,  that made legislative and social advances like the Americans with Disabilities Act possible. May people with IBS become strong and visible advocacy voices for ourselves and our needs around the globe.


Gut Week in the United Kingdom and Ireland June 25-July 1, 2012

June 29, 2012

UPDATE: 08/03/2014 The most recent version of this post can be found at August 3, 2014.

This week is National Gut Week in the U.K. and neighboring Ireland, and a good time to alert readers in those countries to some of the available resources for irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal conditions in that region of the world.

The official site for Gut Week, sponsored by various charities, organizations and companies, provides some general information on the website and links to other gastrointestinal resources It also offers information packets, including some articles from leading professionals in the U.K. and Ireland, available in hard copy by request or by download to people who provide contact information from within the U.K. or Ireland. There are also contests on the site in which to participate during this week.

The IBS Network, formerly The Gut Trust, in Sheffield is the national charity for irritable bowel syndrome in the U.K. For a modest annual fee, members get access to a telephone helpline, support groups, a magazine and other written information, news about advocacy and research, an online self-care tool, and a “Can’t Wait” card meant to assist people with IBS in quickly communicating to others the need for access to a public toilet. The IBS Network has also just launched a new online community that it is encouraging people to try out.

As noted previously on this blog, some people with IBS in the U.K. have found RADAR keys, meant to unlock disability-accessible public toilets, useful. They are so  named for the Royal Association for Disability Rights, which has now merged with other organizations to form Disability U.K., located in London.  In addition to selling RADAR keys and guides and smartphone apps of locations where they can be used, Disability U.K. provides a wide range of information and resources for people with all types of disabilities and medical conditions, including general advice on legal protections, benefits and other disability advocacy within the U.K. Many of these apply to IBS.

It is IBS Impact’s understanding that experiences with people with IBS receiving disability benefits within the U.K. or Ireland vary greatly. Some people are able to successfully obtain them, but others not. The following government websites have useful information on benefits and other disability-related topics: Directgov disability information in the U.K. and Citizens Information Board disability information in Ireland.

For evidence-based guidelines on treatment of IBS, see the British Society of Gastroenterology (2007), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2008)  and the British Dietetic Association (2012). The South Manchester Functional Bowel Service, headed by Peter Whorwell, MD also has a website of information on IBS, gut-directed hypnotherapy, on which Dr. Whorwell is an international authority and pioneer, and the research studies and clinical care offered at his service.

Michael Mahoney, clinical hypnotherapist in Cheshire, has different, home-based CD/MP3  hypnotherapy protocols from Dr. Whorwell’s, which many adults and children with IBS or functional abdominal pain (also known as recurrent abdominal pain)  in various countries have found helpful, as well as an audio CD designed to explain IBS to family and friends. An article by Mike can be found on the family and friends page of the IBS Impact main site. A link to details on his IBS Audio 100 program for adults can be found on the links page, and a link to details on the IBS Audio 60 program for children on the children’s page.

Also on IBS Impact’s family and friends page is an an article by Sophie Lee, an adult with IBS in the U.K. who has had IBS since childhood. Sophie offered this excerpt from her published memoir to IBS Impact in the hope of increasing awareness of IBS. Some readers may be aware that she also owns IBS Tales, a website for people with IBS to share their successes and disappointments. It draws readers internationally, but as a site originating in the U.K., has more of a U.K. focus. Please be aware that because the site is composed of personal experiences with conventional, complementary and self-help treatment approaches contributed by many people, certain information may or may not be scientifically accurate, and in any case, individual experiences will vary. IBS Impact strongly encourages positive peer support and sharing of reputable information and personal experiences by people with IBS, but does not focus on treatment advice. We urge readers to also consult the evidence-based resources given in this post and the individual advice of their own health care providers so that they can make the fully informed choices best for their own situations.

Julie Thompson, a registered dietician who works in the National Health Service and an IBS Network trustee, has a blog, Clinical Alimentary, that addresses digestive health and nutrition and the scientific evidence behind various topics of interest. Finally, readers may be interested in this December 24, 2011 post by IBS Impact on fascinating research supported by the Wellcome Trust on the history of IBS in the U.K.

This post is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every resource available in the United Kingdom or Ireland for IBS, but a thoughtful starting point. Readers are encouraged to comment on this post or through the contact links on the IBS Impact main website if there are suggestions of topics or resources or advocacy concerns that might be addressed in the future.