One in seven Australian adults are affected by the gastrointestinal disorder, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Pain, discomfort and regular disruptions throughout the digestive system leave IBS sufferers feeling constantly debilitated and exhausted. Environmental factors, such as stress, diet, medication and changes in routine, make symptoms worse – but in reality, even simple everyday life causes an upset stomach more often than not.
Despite this, over 50 per cent of those diagnosed have not gone to a doctor for advice, nor sought the resources and support they need to best manage their health and lifestyle with the condition.
UOW student Rachel was diagnosed with IBS last year. She is doing her best to control her symptoms with diet, but admitted it is largely a matter of trial and error. She said the key to managing the condition is to find the foods and meals that work for you and your digestive system, and sticking with them – albeit in some creative ways.