IBS is the 2nd most common cause of work absenteeism: Survey

22 Apr 2018

A study conducted by the HCFI, a National Health NGO has revealed that about 5-10% of the population surveyed experiences symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation or incomplete evacuation. Yet, a majority of them do not seek medical help.
The study aimed at analyzing IBS from the physician and patient’s point of view – awareness about the disease, its impact on day-to-day life and treatment options. It is interesting to note that even though 84.6% of the respondents felt that abdominal pain or other symptoms of IBS cannot be ignored, an overwhelming 58% of them use over-the-counter medications for relief and did not see a doctor. Given the impact of IBS on a person’s day-to-day life, it is important to raise awareness about IBS amongst both the medical fraternity and patients about IBS.
Dr. T N Lahiri Majumdar, Gastroenterologist, Peerless Hospital & B.K. Roy Research Centre, Kolkata said, “IBS is a proven cause of absenteeism from work and second only to common cold. People with recurrent symptoms must take immediate action to manage the symptoms to avoid loss of productivity and also to prevent the condition from becoming worse. Although IBS does not have any cure, it can be handled with some lifestyle changes and medication.”
Dr. Uday C Ghoshal, Professor, Gastro Dept, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduation Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow (SGPGI), opined, “There is a lack of awareness about IBS in India and the fact that it is one of the leading causes of work absenteeism. Some symptoms of this condition include constipation, diarrhea or both. Associated psychological disturbances & multiple somatic symptoms are also associated with in a proportion of patients.”
Dr KK Aggarwal – President HCFI said, “A simple mantra that everyone must remember is that if there is no pain, it can’t be IBS. Raising awareness about the disease incidence is key. ” (EOIC)