6 things to know about IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal disorder impacting an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the population. Here are six things to know for IBS Awareness Month.

1. There are three main types of IBS: IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with predominant diarrhea (IBS-D), and IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M). These subtypes are classified based on the type and frequency of bowel movement abnormalities. IBS-U is an unclassified case in which the symptoms don't match another subtype.

2. IBS largely impacts women and people under age 50. Females are up to two times more likely than men to develop the syndrome. 

3. Rome IV criteria for diagnosing IBS was released in 2016 with updates from the Rome III criteria published 10 years prior.

The new criteria characterize IBS as recurrent abdominal pain occurring at least one day a week on average in the past three months. The pain is associated with two or more of the following conditions: related to defecation; associated with a change in frequency of stool, or associated with a change in appearance of stool.

4. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders designated April as IBS Awareness Month in 1997 to focus on IBS diagnosis, treatment and quality of life issues.

5. It can take up to four years on average for a patient to receive a positive diagnosis of IBS, according to the 2016 IBS Global Impact Report, which examined published studies on the costs of IBS.

6. In the U.S, direct costs associated with IBS have been estimated to be upwards of $1 billion, according to The American Journal of Managed Care.

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