Pick a side
We return to the subject vs nature as we feel it is such an important one. We have already touched upon belief in regards to the effectiveness of any given treatment and it is with that in mind this topic is revisited.
Having had personal experience of watching IBS sufferers go though a great deal of unnecessary pain and discomfort as a result of fervently held beliefs, it seemed important. To provide an example of this, we will look at the case of the ‘relative’.
The ‘relative’ has suffered lifelong IBS. The condition has never improved and these days they rarely leave the house, if the do so it is exclusively to destinations with toilets clearly located. The ‘relative’ in question is highly intelligent and articulate, subscribes to the New Scientist and can talk at great length and detail about treatments.
The ‘relatives’ view on anything natural is that it is nonsensical.
Opposite the relative we have the ‘friend’ who wasted thousands and thousands of dollars on natural remedies which never improved the condition in the slightest, despite spectacular claims, and evangelical websites.
IBS sufferers will recognize the desperation which exists to find a cure. Many of us would love a safe pill which resolved the issue immediately. In the meantime many sufferers are vulnerable to the outlandish claims of many products.
Unlike the ‘relative’, the ‘friends’ condition improved when they took a balanced approach to treating IBS. By looking at lifestyle, diet and general health they now lead a nearly normal life, only the fact that had they not wasted a horrendous sum of money chasing a dream cure, undermines their efforts.
The simple and somewhat obvious point we are trying to make is that one of the greatest weapons in the fight against IBS is an open mind. While it is easy to dismiss natural therapy, there is a great deal of valid science behind many of the remedies. By the same token science has done so much for mankind the very fact that we live beyond thirty suggests that to dismiss science out of hand seems somewhat churlish.
Some of the arguments that rage on chat rooms and on forums shows the depth of feeling many have on this subject. We are brutally aware that those with entrenched opinions will not have their minds changed anytime soon. Our only concern is that sufferers receive the best care possible and more importantly free themselves from the chains of IBS.
To this end our motto has and will always be, go with what works for you. A huge portion of our IBS health website is devoted to the fact that IBS covers far too many different symptoms for one treatment ever to be correct for all. Thus the onus is on you to be a detective.
Due to the private nature of IBS, many sufferers will do the research into their condition on their own and be alone for much of the process of treating their condition, we hope they do not make the same mistakes as we did and treat many of the claims out there with the caution that they require.
We have included a TED talk with a UK doctor, it is very interesting video. Dr. Goldacre will certainly offend a few, however he has spent much time in court successfully defending his opinions. The point we feel it makes is in regards to the vast swathes of people who have turned their back on science.
Traditionally those who have done so have been pilloried and mocked, by those who feel anything outside of scientific fact to be foolish. However, as Dr. Goldacre points out the problem is not science per se, it is bad science which has diminished the trust many now have with science.
Constant food scares, have guaranteed that many ignore the warnings, with the concern being that a genuine food scare will be ignored. We also have a regular stream of scientific findings which frankly fit whatever scenario has been paid for, so is it actually foolish to be concerned about science?
The beauty of Dr. Goldacres work is that he does provide us with an answer. His suggestion is that we are taught to recognize and analyze scientific data, enabling us to make better decisions around the subject. We hope that one day comes to fruition, however until such time that will be left to us consumers.
*For the record we sincerely believe in whatever works for you. There are many things which work for a lot of sufferers, however there are no hard and fast rules. If you find something that works for you, be it a medicine or a natural therapy, then that is all that matters. Just keep an open mind.
**Dr. Ben Goldacre’s TED talk, whilst illuminating is not necessarily a reflection of the beliefs of IBS-
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.
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