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How does irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) pain affect quality of life?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
The effort to cope with pain related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) leads to stress-related symptoms, fatigue, sleep difficulties and problems with appetite and weight control. Relationships with friends, coworkers and family often suffer. Fear, anxiety, physical tension and depression are common in IBS and can actually increase abdominal pain and discomfort. A vicious cycle begins as your pain leads to psychological distress, which leads back to more pain and increased sensitivity to pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

One in five people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or other functional bowel disorders. As a result, irritable bowel syndrome is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism. This...

Irritable bowel syndrome can be not only uncomfortable, but it can affect the quality of your life in other ways. Your professional life may be affected by the amount of missed workdays that are caused by irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, people who have irritable bowel syndrome have three times as many workplace absences as those without the disorder. It may also affect your sex life. The uncomfortable symptoms can cause sex to seem unappealing. Irritable bowel syndrome can even affect your social life. The frustration of dealing with your symptoms while you're away from home may prevent you from scheduling activities.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.