Busting Common Myths About IBS

IBS patients must be aware of the common misconceptions surrounding the disease.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a long-term condition and it can often last for a lifetime. There is no specific test to diagnose the problem but tests are taken to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. IBS mainly affects the gut and causes symptoms like cramps, bloating and pain in the abdominal area or around the stomach.

According to US NIH, around 1 in 5 people have IBS symptoms once in their lifetime. People between the age of 20 to 30 experience the symptoms for the first time. Thus, here are a few myths about the health condition so that people do not have misconceptions about the disease because the more misinformed you are, the more scared you will be about the health condition. It is a great way to get prepared if you are a new IBS patient or got diagnosed with it recently.


Myth 1: IBS is a Rare Disease 

few people think that IBS is a rare condition and it is uncommon for people to get diagnosed with it. But you are wrong. According to US NIH, IBS is very common and around 1 in 7 people worldwide get diagnosed with the health condition and it accounts for 10-15% of the population.

Though few people do not experience any symptoms and do not get diagnosed with IBS officially thus we can expect the number of people with IBS to be even higher than 1 in 7.

Myth 2: IBS Affects Men and Women the Same 

According to PubMed Central, about two-thirds of people with IBS are women. Research proves that women are more likely to experience gastrointestinal disorders than men. even the symptoms in men and women can be different. Women experience constipation when they suffer from IBS and that is not common in men. Sex hormones and gender differences may have important roles to play in the pathophysiology of IBS.

Moreover, women who suffer from IBS feel more fatigue, depression, anxiety, and lower quality of life than male patients.

Myth 3: IBS is Easy to Diagnose 

If you think there are specific tests to know if you are suffering from IBS, you should know- there aren't. The fact is that IBS can be very difficult to diagnose. IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder, meaning even under a microscope the gut of an IBS patient will look similar to that of someone who is normal.

There is no definitive test for IBS. The diagnosis process includes ruling out other potential conditions, like Crohn's Disease.


Myth 4: IBS Symptoms are Same for Everyone 

It is a huge misconception that every IBS patient will go through the same symptoms because even people with the same subtype of IBS may experience IBS differently. 

Research proves that few people with IBS may experience more constipation, more diarrhea, or a mix of both constipation and diarrhea. Some people might experience IBS flare-ups now and then.

There are also other symptoms of IBS like nausea, flatulence, back pain, fatigue, or bowel incontinence. The bottom line is that IBS experience isn't the same for everyone.

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Topics:  IBS   Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

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