Due to embarrassment, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers are often afraid to ask their questions about symptoms and treatments.
The results of a major study regarding IBS patients and their knowledge about the disorder was published in the September 2007 issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Over 1,200 participants completed a survey designed to assess what information IBS patients have and what information they are lacking. The researchers found that IBS patients often have misconceptions about the cause and prognosis of IBS -- misconceptions that result in unnecessary worry and anxiety. The study also found that IBS patients tend to have many questions, as well as misconceptions, about the role of specific foods and dietary habits.
To ensure that you are as well informed as you can be about IBS, check out this list of Frequently Asked Questions. More importantly, check out the answers.
IBS Diagnosis FAQs
- How can my doctor be sure I have IBS? Shouldn't they run more tests?
- If it’s not IBS, what else could it be?
- What is lactose intolerance?
- What’s the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?
- What is post-infectious IBS?
- What is small intestine bacteria overgrowth (SIBO?)
- What are IBS sub-types?
IBS Symptom FAQs
- Does IBS pain move and change?
- Will IBS shorten my life?
- Will my IBS worsen as I get older?
- Will IBS turn into cancer?
- Will IBS turn into colitis?
- Will IBS cause me to lose or gain weight?
- What is fecal incontinence?
- Can financial stress cause stomach problems?
IBS Treatment FAQs
- Are there medications that treat IBS?
- Can vitamins help IBS?
- Can therapy help with IBS?
- What foods should I avoid so my IBS won’t act up?
- Can IBS be cured?
- Will I eventually need surgery for my IBS?
- Can exercise help my IBS? Does IBS affect how intensely I should exercise?
- Are there books on IBS that I should read?
- What can I do to relieve straining on the toilet from constipation?
- Should I colon cleanse?
- Is colon hydrotherapy safe?
Halpert, A., et.al. "What Patients Know About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and What They Would Like to Know. National Survey on Patient Educational Needs in IBS and Development and Validation of the Patient Educational Needs Questionnaire (PEQ)" American Journal of Gastroenterology 2007 102:1972-1982.