MILWAUKEE, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer and
his wife, Camille, launched today a public education initiative to raise
awareness about a common, but often unrecognized, medical condition that many
people are reluctant to discuss. The condition is called irritable bowel
syndrome, or IBS, and it affects as many as one in five American adults.
"You don't hear much about IBS because some of the symptoms involved
relate to subjects traditionally considered taboo by the public and the
press," said Kelsey Grammer. "However, it's important that we help people get
over their embarrassment. We need to be able to talk openly about any medical
condition that causes so many people to suffer in silence."
IBS is a medical disorder that is estimated to affect as many as 20
percent of all adults in the U.S. with women sufferers outnumbering male
sufferers by an estimated three to one. IBS is one of the top ten most
frequently diagnosed conditions among U.S. physicians and is more common than
asthma or diabetes. The disorder is characterized by multiple symptoms that
include chronic, recurrent abdominal pain and discomfort, and irregular bowel
function such as diarrhea, constipation, or sometimes both.
The Grammers are working with the International Foundation for Functional
Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) to raise awareness and educate the public
about this prevalent condition and its effects on those who suffer from it.
IFFGD is a nonprofit research organization whose mission is to inform and
support people affected by functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as IBS.
Camille Grammer was diagnosed three and a half years ago with IBS, though
she believes she has been suffering from the condition throughout her life.
Prior to her diagnosis, she endured many years of specialist and emergency
room visits that provided little insight into what was causing her to double
over in pain.
Kelsey, concerned about his wife's health, and others suffering from IBS,
is joining Camille to raise awareness about this chronic, often debilitating
"As long as I can remember, I've always had stomach and bowel problems and
have never really known what to do about it. I have been amazed to learn how
so many women have been suffering in the same way. I hope that my efforts to
speak openly about my condition will encourage others to do the same and get
the help that they need," said Camille.
"IBS impacts my life in so many ways," Camille explained. "I am always
fearful that my IBS symptoms will return at any moment, so I always have to
know where the nearest restroom is. I'm afraid that eating will result in
stomach pain. Traveling is difficult. And, IBS often makes even a simple
evening out with my husband, to enjoy a concert or movie, seem impossible."
"Through this initiative, we hope to inspire a national dialogue about IBS
that will ultimately make it easier for people to discuss their symptoms with
their doctor, family and friends," said Nancy J. Norton, President and Founder
The Grammers' initiative includes television and radio public service
announcements (PSAs), sponsored by IFFGD, and education through the media. The
efforts aim to encourage the millions of Americans who are suffering from IBS
-- mostly women -- to recognize symptoms and seek medical attention.
"Camille and I are very lucky to have each other, but it pains me to
witness her suffering day in and day out," Kelsey said. "One of the reasons
we want to talk about IBS is to encourage those people who suffer in silence
to get more information, talk to their doctor and look into new ways to manage
their IBS symptoms."
SOURCE International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders