April is IBS Awareness month.
IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome – is a topic I’m seeing mentioned more and more online. People are actually starting to talk about their gut feelings in the most literal sense, and it’s finally getting the attention it deserves.
IBS affects one in five people in their lifetime. It’s not just a posh word for that feeling after you’ve overindulged; IBS can range from uncomfortable indigestion to excruciatingly painful gas, diarrhoea and constipation. Sometimes it can make socialising extremely hard for sufferers and, because of the typically British awkwardness we tend to experience around matters of the loo, it’s rarely spoken about or considered. This can mean people suffer in silence.
It’s important we break toilet taboo to make sure everyone feels welcome, comfortable and well. In an age where we’re becoming more honest and open about our bodies, let’s get talking about our tummies.
In a somewhat unconventional response to IBS Awareness Month, I’ve decided to write a random poem to help raise awareness! It’s not meant to be too serious – I was inspired a bit by the work of Roald Dahl and Michael Rosen for this – and is possibly the only time you’ll see me mention poop in my poetry.
This little ditty is intended to be an amusing, lighthearted look at IBS whilst stating the facts. I had fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy it too!
Make sure you check out more information about IBS: The NHS site has some useful tips and links if you’d like to read more.
Pardon me, for being so rude,
It was not me – nor my food;
I have this thing called IBS
That puts my innards to the test.
My dear old tummy cannot cope
With salty food, chips and coke.
Sometimes bread and pasta too
Can have me dashing to the loo.
IBS takes many forms,
It is unique – there are no norms;
Sometimes it’s provoked by stress,
With symptoms quite hard to assess.
Sensitive guts are a sensitive topic,
And sometimes symptoms are microscopic,
But one thing’s really vital, please,
Do not jeer, and do not tease
Gas and poop are stuff of jokes
And can be funny for some folks;
But think of those who must be wary
Of carbs and fat and salt and dairy.
It’s not our fault, this handicap,
Feeling bloated, sick and crap.
It’s an illness; a disease,
That brings us groaning to our knees.
Don’t be surprised when we ask you
If we could quickly use your loo
Within minutes of arrival;
It’s essential for survival.
So just for IBS awareness –
Put a stop to this unfairness;
Get informed, find sympathy
And once again…please pardon me.
Read my poetry: