March 30, 2017

Study Suggests Up to 75% of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Undiagnosed

By cancerconnect

A report published by researchers in The American Journal of Gastroenterology by doctors from Washington University in Saint Louis and the David Geffen School of Medicine claims providers fail to diagnose up to 75 percent of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that affects the large intestine, or colon. Its symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS is common, affecting up to 20 percent—one in five—of adults in the United States. More women suffer from IBS than men. There is currently no known cause of IBS, but, according to research, it’s probably the result of sensitivity of the large intestine to certain foods and stress. Effective treatments for IBS are very much needed.

Washington University in St. Louis Associate Professor Gregory Sayuk, MD conducted a 1,924 person online survey to compare gastrointestinal symptoms, healthcare visits, wellbeing, symptom management, and treatment satisfaction in patients with and without IBS.

Key Findings:

  1. Of the respondents, 56.9%, or 1,094 individuals, met criteria for IBS.
  2. Of the 1,094 individuals, 830 had no IBS diagnosis despite meeting the criteria.
  3. Forty-five percent of gastroenterologists and 42% of primary care physicians diagnosed most participants.
  4. Diagnosed patients had more severe GI symptoms than undiagnosed individuals. Diagnosed patients were more likely to report adverse symptoms as well.
  5. Forty percent of participants received treatment for IBS from primary care physicians. Twenty-six percent of diagnosed patients and 43 percent of undiagnosed individuals were not receiving any type of care.

It is apparent that many undiagnosed patients have IBS like symptoms, and despite these symptoms impacting quality of life, more than one-third of individuals are not receiving treatment. Individuals concerned that they may have IBS should learn more about their condition and engage their doctor about solutions.

Learn About IBS here:


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