IBS and Quality of Life

How should you feel when your Doctor says, “you probably just have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?”

Relieved that you don’t have bowel cancer or coeliac disease, even though your day-to-day symptoms could be so debilitating that you can’t leave your home? Glad that managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) through diet and lifestyle is achievable even though it is sometimes very complex and challenging?

An interesting research paper released in 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology shows health professionals greatly underestimate the impact of IBS on an individual’s functioning and quality of life (QoL).

IBS sufferers across all ages reported poorer health than general population. Health related QoL for IBS sufferers rated worse than other uncomfortable and chronic conditions including reflux and diabetes. IBS was even rated as impacting more on QoL than end-stage kidney disease, which might involve dialysis treatment three days a week. Understandably, the severity of bowel symptoms in IBS is associated with a corresponding impact on QoL, the worse the symptoms the bigger the impact.

Symptoms are not only felt in the tummy, but also in the pocket. A clinical review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the cost of treatment of IBS and QoL was more that $20 million a year leading to as many missed work days as the common cold.

The good news is, people who respond well to IBS diet and lifestyle management and medical therapy have a corresponding improvement in health related QoL. My clients following our comprehensive Gut Feelings program report immediate improvement in symptoms and QoL.

If you have IBS and want to improve your QoL, sign up for the Gut Feelings e-newsletter, or have a browse around our website for some useful tools and tips.

Blogged by Kerith Duncanson – April 2015


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