6 Stats you Should Know about IBS
Oct 19, 2023
What is IBS?
IBS is a common chronic or lifelong condition which affects the digestive system. It can manifest in the form of diarrhoea, constipation or both. Sufferers of IBS usually have no visible inflammation (swelling, redness or sores) inside the intestines. IBS doesn’t affect a person’s lifespan but can have an impact on someone’s quality of life.
We have pulled together some facts for you on the condition so you can become more informed on the syndrome, and assess if it is something which may be relevant to you.
Research has shown that IBS symptoms aren’t the same for everyone, some people may experience reduced bowel movements, whereas others will experience more frequent bowel movements, with loose stool. It is believed that IBS isn’t a single disease, it has 4 different subcategories.
The 4 subcategories of IBS are as follows:
- IBS-C: with predominant constipation
- IBS-D: with predominant diarrhoea
- IBS-M: with both constipation and diarrhoea
- Undefined subtype (IBS-U) — symptoms vary.
- People under 50 are more likely to be affected by IBS
You can certainly develop IBS at any stage of life, but it’s most common for symptoms to start between the ages of 20 and 30.
It’s far less likely for IBS symptoms to start later in life, so if you are experiencing IBS-like symptoms over the age of 40, it is likely this may be a different bowel condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease, rather than IBS.
Studies have shown that a percentage of IBS patients and patients with allergic diseases share some characteristic inflammatory features. In fact, atopic children show an increased likelihood of developing IBS as adults. So if you have ever suffered from eczema, your chances of getting IBS are higher than for someone who doesn’t struggle with these allergies.