At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another academic article our gut health nerds found interesting…
What would you do to cure your IBS? That’s what participants of one international study were asked.
Approximately 2,000 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers described the severity of their symptoms and the steps they would take to get relief. Although the majority of respondents rated their overall health as “good” or “very good,” the finer details were much more grim. Many participants reported having to restrict their usual activities an average of 73 days a year due to IBS symptoms. That’s almost 1 in every 5 days! Further, 12% said they weren’t able to work because of their health. Many with IBS even said they would give up 25% of their remaining life (an average of 15 years) to receive a treatment that would make them symptom-free now. Whoa.
Why so extreme?
Although IBS is one of the most recognized and studied digestive disorders, no single treatment manages to control the wide range of symptoms people experience. It’s incredibly frustrating for patients. Traditionally, doctors make treatment decisions based on the nature and severity of a patient’s symptoms. But very rarely do doctors ask patients about their opinions on treatment choices or their risk tolerance. This study highlights that patients would be willing to take greater risks with their treatment options if the prospect of better symptom control were a real possibility.
Doctors and regulatory agencies should be open to taking a little more risk when it comes to IBS treatments. When weighing the risk-benefit, patient input matters. And this survey indicates they might be much more open to taking chances than we once thought.
Source: International survey of patients with IBS: symptom features and their severity, health status, treatments, and risk taking to achieve clinical benefit. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384249