IBS Health Impact

IBS is defined as frequent recurrent abdominal pain, related to defecation and associated with a change in the frequency or form of the stool.  It affects about 11% of the general population and is classified according to the predominant bowel symptom, for example, IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), or a mixed type (IBS-M).

Many patients treat mild symptoms with adaptations to lifestyle or diet or by taking over-the-counter medications.  Whereas those with moderate or severe symptoms may treat their motility symptoms with indicated prescription medications, and may take non-specific pain medications,  there are currently no medications indicated for IBS-pain.

Moderate/severe IBS can have a significant impact on patients.  Direct costs are estimated at $7,500 per patient per annum, in addition to which there is lost productivity, stress and anxiety.  Just imagine what life is like for people with persistent belly pain who need to know the location of every nearby bathroom.