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This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the Picture My IBS initiative.
Talking about IBS takes guts.
I have suffered with IBS pretty much my entire life. It began as a “nervous stomach” as a child and progressed to much more defined symptoms as I approached adolescence. It developed and grew as my body did. I always attributed it to my anxiety and in part, it probably was. When I reached my 20s and had kids, I noticed when I was pregnant that it went away. It was then I realized it was more of a physical thing then I had previously noticed. Pregnancy is a nerve wracking, so maybe it wasn’t as attached to my anxiety as I thought.
So I started researching. I found lots of things that I had never thought of to help my IBS. I found out that my beloved red tomatoes were actually my enemy, it’s not the case in everyone but they cause huge problems in me. I found that dairy was the cause of the knife pains in my stomach. That the alternating inability to go to the bathroom and then living in the bathroom for days was a HUGE sign of IBS. It’s a struggle. I feel like when I finally have the sense that I have a handle on this, it changes. Things that previously didn’t cause a flare-up now are causing me to run to the bathroom. It can be very isolating. Talking about bathroom habits and bodily functions aren’t easy. Either people don’t understand or they think you are overly exaggerating. Let me tell you it’s a real thing. Yes food is a factor and eating the right things can help, BUT it’s not always that simple. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a difficult and embarrassing topic for people to speak with others about, including their own doctor. Respondents from a 2015 survey reported bowel movements are more uncomfortable to discuss with others than STDs.
Picture My IBS
There is a wonderful new initiative called Picture My IBS offers people a new way to express their feelings about the impact of IBS on their lives. Sometimes it’s hard to put your feelings into words. Art can be soo cathartic. By creating an original piece of artwork, in whatever form you feel demonstrates your feelings best, allows you to best express yourself and your IBS journey. You can submit a painting, drawing, sculpture, collage or any other type of artwork that meets the contest guidelines.
Created by The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) in collaboration with Allergan and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Picture My IBS aims to helps those with IBS find a more comfortable, safe way to communicate with their doctors, family members and to share their IBS journey with others. The goal is to show others that they are not alone. The artwork, shared by real people living with IBS, will help create public awareness of IBS and shine a light on the many, many ways it affects people’s lives.
As part of the Picture My IBS initiative, a panel of judges will evaluate submitted artwork and the Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip for two to a luxury hotel and spa in New York City (how cool is that!!!), and five Honorable Mention Winners will receive a $100 American Express gift card. All winning art will also be featured on the Picture My IBS website. You can be part of this fantastic initiative and help take the stigma out of talking about IBS. Plus you could win cool prizes! Doesn’t get better or easier than that.
Whether you have IBS or have loved ones in your life that do, Picture My IBS would love to see your artistic expression. Visit PictureMyIBS.org today for details and to enter the contest for a chance to win one of these exciting prizes.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES, D.C., AGE 18 OR OVER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. THE SPONSORS OF THE CONTEST ARE ALLERGAN USA, INC. WITH AN OFFICE AT HARBORSIDE FINANCIAL CENTER; PLAZA V, SUITE 1900; JERSEY CITY, NJ 07302; IRONWOOD PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. WITH AN OFFICE AT 301 BINNEY STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA 02142; AND THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GASTROENTEROLOGY. APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE OF ALL PRIZES IS $6,500. ODDS OF WINNING DEPEND ON NUMBER AND QUALITY OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1, 2016 AND FEBRUARY 28, 2017. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS APPLY. PLEASE SEE COMPLETE CONTEST TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT PICTUREMYIBS.ORG.