IBS is a condition many people don't fully understand — and may not feel comfortable talking about. Clinically, IBS affects your colon or large intestine, the part of the digestive system that stores your solid waste materials, also called stools.
IBS affects many people
- An estimated nearly 1 out of every 5 Americans has symptoms of IBS
- Women are more commonly affected by IBS than men
- Although IBS can occur at any age, in approximately 50% of people symptoms typically begin to appear before their mid-30s
You may notice you have experiences similar to the findings of a survey of IBS sufferers, conducted by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. The survey of 1966 adults found that:
- More than 40% of people reported that they felt they were not in control of their lives because of IBS symptoms
- People with IBS limit their regular activities more than 73 days a year because of their symptoms
- 13% of respondents indicated they were out of work because of their health problems
While IBS does not lead to more serious conditions like cancer, it is a chronic condition that can be disabling for some people.
Treating IBSSome treatments your doctor may suggest to help manage your IBS symptoms:
- Altering your diet
- Stress management, such as getting enough sleep and exercise
Many people have trouble discussing IBS, leaving their healthcare providers in the dark about their patients' symptoms and how those symptoms can impact their patients. Talking to your healthcare provider is a major step in understanding and addressing the problem.
Get your helpful Appointment Kit
to bring with you to your next appointment.