As IBS sufferers, one of the most distressing experiences we have found, has been broken promises. Over time many sufferers will discover treatments or products which promise so much, yet fail to deliver on any of their attestations. When you are desperate to regain control of your life from IBS, stumbling upon such promises provides a great deal of succor as you may be vulnerable.
While this is not unique to IBS, it is certainly heightened by the fact IBS is such a broad church. In many ways no single IBS product or treatment should offer or suggest to cure the condition for all. If this were true IBS would be a thing of the past, not an ever growing complaint which appears to be gathering momentum.
A five minute trawl through the internet will unearth many companies and treatments offering answers, we write this week to suggest ways in which you can limit the distress you suffer from the ones who will let you down. Before doing so it is imperative that we point out that there are many great people out there offering fantastic treatments which can really help your condition, we want to help you find them faster, and to avoid the crushing experiences offered up by the less reputable.
Developing a keen sense of the credibility of sources, based on such clues as connection of author to the subject, audience, source of publication, and documentation of supporting evidence, can also help you evaluate IBS porducts and treatments. Though many search engines rank material according to their idea of what is relevant, that doesn't mean the material is relevant to want you want or is reliable. These guidelines are to help you become familiar with various types of Web resources and the reliability of the information.
1. Is there any evidence that the author of the Web information has some authority in the field about which she or he is providing information? What are the author's qualifications, credentials and connections to the subject?
2. With what organization or institution is the author associated? Is there a link to the sponsoring organization, a contact number and/or address or e-
3. Are there clues that the author/s are biased? For example, is he/she selling or promoting a product? Is the author taking a personal stand on a social/political issue or is the author being objective ? Bias is not necessarily "bad," but the connections should be clear.
4. Is the Web information current? If there are a number of out-
5. Does the information have a complete list of works cited, which reference credible, authoritative sources? If the information is not backed up with sources, what is the author's relationship to the subject to be able to give an "expert" opinion?
6. Can the subject you are researching be fully covered with WWW sources or should print sources provide balance? Much IBS research is still only available in traditional print form. It is safe to assume that if you have limited background in a topic and have a limited amount of time to do your research, you may not be able to get the most representative material on the subject. So be wary of making unsupportable conclusions based on a narrow range of sources.
7. On what kind of Web site does the information appear? The site can give you clues about the credibility of the source.
The basic problem anyone using the internet will face is that of agenda. It feels as though nearly everyone has an agenda. Even some charities will have a corporate sponsor, which may cloud their ability to speak honestly about rival products and services. Again this does not mean that they produce bad advice, it just means that you have to bear it in mind.
The reality is that few of us will be lucky enough to get it right first time. It falls to our own judgement and instincts to select treatments, professionals and products. The best thing we can do is to be aware and accept that there will be a few bumps in the road.
Please note: All blogs and IBS Health articles have been written by IBS sufferers for fellow IBS sufferers.
We respect and appreciate all other opinions and write with the sole aim of providing empathy, support and ideas for others who live IBS everyday. We do not write cause offence.
While we have the shop and other sites, we have always ensured that we are ferociously independent and that our sites are free to use.