IBS Chat is a new book which has been written entirely by IBS sufferers – and without them really knowing it! No, they haven’t been hypnotized by an evil megalomaniac cyber-sheep and forced to talk about their bowels – stop being silly. They’ve just contributed to the rather wonderful IBS Self-help Group bulletin board, and now the best, most supportive and most knowledgeable posts from that board have been collected into a book.
Now, perhaps the first question you might ask is why you would bother to buy a book version of a website, when the website already exists. The answer is, of course, editing. The IBS Self-help Group now contains thousands upon thousands of posts, if not millions, and while that fact makes it a great resource in its own right, it does mean that sometimes it can be hard to find what you’re looking for. But no longer!
The book has been collated by Jeff Roberts, the founder of the IBS Self-help Group, and Barbara Bradley Bolen, a clinical psychologist and author of Breaking the Bonds of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The idea behind it is very simple – chapters are dedicated to various different aspects of IBS, such as diarrhea, constipation, diagnostic tests, medication, hypnotherapy etc etc, and then the best posts and threads from the bulletin board are arranged neatly within.
Personally I’m a big fan of things written by IBS sufferers for other IBS sufferers, and the whole reason I started IBS Tales was because I didn’t want to read any more books by doctors who were well-meaning but remote, I wanted to read stuff by the people who were actually living it.
There’s a real power in reading page after page after page (after page – you get your money with IBS Chat, it’s over 500 pages long) written by people who are Just Like You. You begin to realize that most IBS sufferers have the same challenges and problems and bizarre things said to them by well-wishers, and that far from being abnormal we’re part of a pretty huge club.
Not only that, you can pick up some great ideas for treatments – there’s good coverage for example of the calcium and magnesium supplements that have proved so useful for so many people, despite rarely being mentioned by our doctors.
So, IBS Chat is definitely a book to add to your IBS reading list. My only gripe really would be that there’s no index, but the chapters are so well-organized that this isn’t much of a problem, and of course you can always look the subject up online.