Surprising Impacts of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Kristi Guillemette | April 27, 2017
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common of functional GI disorders, and is not technically a disease but a group of symptoms. IBS occurs in 10-15 percent of Americans, the majority of whom are women. Very few IBS suffers seek medical attention because it can be difficult to diagnose properly. Estimates suggest that the cost of IBS to the U.S. health system approaches $30 billion a year.
The criteria for diagnosing IBS include symptoms that occur for 12 weeks or more in the past 12 months, and include abdominal pain or discomfort with at least two of the following:
- Pain is relieved by a bowel movement
- Onset of pain is related to a change in frequency of stool
- Onset of pain is related to a change in the appearance of stool
Sleep difficulties are common in people with IBS, as well as other gastrointestinal disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disease. Sleep disturbances amongst IBS suffers include:
- Sleep fragmentation (interruptions in sleep)
- Daytime fatigue
Women with IBS more frequently report gynecological disorders than those without IBS. Those disorders include:
- Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Prevalent pelvic
The mental impact of IBS can also have a significant impact on the lives of sufferers.
Those conditions include:
These conditions can cause the IBS to be even worse, creating a cycle of mental and physical discomfort that can be difficult alleviate.
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