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Choosing the best irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) support group involves finding a group that fits your needs as they relate to the disease and your lifestyle. Decisions should be made on the type of support group you need, your availability and your level of comfort talking about the disease and the impact it has on your life. In addition, speaking with your physician can be helpful in choosing the best IBS support group.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease that affects the colon. Sufferers often experience diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramping and bloating. The condition is typically manageable by individuals identifying the triggers that bring on their symptoms. Common triggers include stress, specific foods and hormones. Support groups can help sufferers identify and avoid these triggers.
Physicians often recommend several types of treatment for those suffering from IBS. Lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, are often recommended. Other recommendations may include drinking plenty of fluids, taking fiber supplements and seeking counseling or support.
When seeking out the best IBS support group, consider the ability of the IBS support group to address your specific needs. For instance, some IBS groups may be geared specifically toward those suffering from diarrhea or constipation dominant IBS. Other groups may be open to those diagnosed with any form of IBS.
Choose an IBS support group that will fit into your schedule. Some groups may meet in-person while others may provide an online community for support at any time. Joining a group that you can attend on a regular basis to start forming relationships with other individuals in your area suffering from the condition may be helpful. Other sufferers may prefer to communicate and connect online instead of in-person. The goal is to choose an IBS support group that will allow you to speak openly and honestly about your specific difficulties related to IBS.
A physician may be able to recommend local support groups. He or she can often provide you with several options within your area. In addition, a physician can point you in the right direction when it comes to finding a support group that can address your specific needs.
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