Is IBS different for men and women? Why is it more common for women to be diagnosed? Are men suffering in silence? We get to the bottom of these questions and more with two longtime IBS patient advocates, Johannah Ruddy, Executive Director of the Rome Foundation, and Jeffrey Roberts, founder of ibspatient.org. Johannah and Jeffrey share their unique perspectives on living with IBS, how men and women may approach their symptoms differently, and why the brain-gut connection is key to understanding IBS.
Johannah Ruddy is a national expert, researcher and writer on teaching communications skills to patients and providers and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Rome Foundation. Ms. Ruddy has 22 years of executive leadership experience working with a variety of nonprofit organizations nationwide and a strong background in writing for patients as well as a speaker at GI practices, medical centers and conferences in the area of provider communication and patient advocacy.
Ms. Ruddy has authored and co-authored eight articles on IBS, navigating the health care system and the role of gender bias in health care published in Gastroenterology, Lancet Gastroenterology, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and the Journal of Crohns & Colitis.Her new book, co-authored with Dr. Drossman, Gut Feelings- Disorders of Gut-Brain Interactions, A Guide for Patients and Doctors is now available on Amazon.
Jeffrey Roberts has been an Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferer for 25+ years and was the creator of the first website for IBS sufferers. He currently runs the IBS Patient Support Group community at IBSpatient.org He has testified to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) several times as well as act as a consultant to pharmaceuticals on behalf of IBS patients. Jeffrey is active in the media and press and has received award recognition for his work. Jeffrey was awarded in 2019 by Digestive Disease Week (DDW), the annual scientific and medical research conference, to receive the inaugural Patient Influencer Travel Award. He was also a nominee in 2020 for the Healio Gastro Disruptive Innovators Award. In 2021, Jeffrey was added to the list of Digital Opinion Leaders in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He is often quoted by leading media outlets as an IBS Patient Expert and Advocate. Jeffrey has a Masters of Science in Education (MSEd) degree from Medaille College, Buffalo, New York. Jeffrey’s thesis was entitled Awareness of Childhood Health Issues On Educational Outcome. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from the University of Toronto and co-authored and published a book entitled IBS Chat: Real Life Stories and Solutions.