In the United States, it is estimated that 10-15 percent of the adult population suffers from IBS symptoms, yet only 5 to 7 percent of adults have been diagnosed with the disease. IBS is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians. According to studies, IBS patients make more visits to their physicians, undergo more diagnostic tests, are prescribed more medications, miss more workdays, have lower work productivity, are hospitalized more frequently, and account for greater overall direct healthcare costs than patients without IBS. The burden of illness for IBS is significant: research suggests that IBS can have such a severe impact on Health-Related Quality of Life that it has been linked to an increase in suicidal behavior.
New Data on IBS Treatment Options
The IBS Treatment Matrix for patients (below) was built based on new research by the American College of Gastroenterology Task Force on IBS published in the January 2009 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology, offering graded recommendations on the full range of options for testing and treatment of IBS. The study, which addresses everything from new IBS drugs to alternative therapies including psychotherapy and acupuncture, provides expert assessments based on a thorough evaluation of the evidence surrounding each therapy.
New IBS Patient Tools
The IBS Test
Over the last 20 years, a number of scientific studies have demonstrated that people with IBS tend to have higher levels of sensitivity in the intestines compared to those who do not have IBS. The IBS Test interactive tool allows you to quickly distinguish whether you are experiencing the most common symptoms associated with IBS through a series of easy-to-answer questions. Capturing this data will enable you to have a more comprehensive conversation with their doctor concerning your unique symptoms.
The IBS Treatment Matrix
Once diagnosed, IBS can still be extremely challenging to treat. There are many treatment options to consider – from therapies which act on bowel symptoms to new agents and alternatives including antidepressants, antibiotics and even probiotics. There are a staggering number of choices for patients and physicians, and the IBS Treatment Matrix presents the evidence on those proven to be effective at improving the overall symptoms of IBS in well-designed clinical trials.
The IBS Treatment Matrix provides an at-a-glance overview of all currently available IBS treatment options, plus evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of those options, enabling IBS you and your physician to consider all the possible alternatives while formulating a treatment plan.