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Stress major trigger for IBS, finds survey

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Stress major trigger for IBS, finds survey

A new survey conducted by Enterosgel UK and published by Talkhealth shows that stress, rather than food, is the main cause of sufferers’ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – with 34% saying stress triggered their IBS.

When asked about the effectiveness of the treatments they had tried, 86% said they had provided temporary relief, with only 14% saying they had improved their condition. 

It is estimated that up to one in five people in the UK will develop IBS at some stage in their life. IBS can affect sufferers in various ways, with abdominal pain, bloating and bouts of diarrhoea or constipation the most common symptoms. It can be a source of great discomfort, embarrassment and unhappiness, turning holidays and everyday tasks into a struggle.

Over 550 people completed the survey. Those who were living with IBS were asked to identify the three symptoms that impacted them most on a daily basis. Stomach pain and discomfort affected 82%, bloating (75%) and diarrhoea (64%). Over half of those with IBS had been diagnosed by a GP (57%), with 29% being diagnosed by a hospital specialist, and 14% self-diagnosing their IBS.

Stress and food were the causes that most participants felt triggered their IBS; stress 34% and food 28%. Nearly a quarter of people stated that they didn’t know what caused their IBS (22%).

Participants were asked what treatments they had already tried prior to completing the survey: antispasmodic medicines (40% - 214 people), and probiotics (20%) were the most commonly used. 

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