Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Pharmacist
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, relapsing, functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of the bowel that can hinder patients’ daily activities and reduce quality of life. According to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) an estimated 10-15% of people in the US have IBS.1,2 Women and those under 50 years of age are more likely to develop IBS than other patient populations.According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFGD), 2 out of 3 IBS sufferers are women and in Western countries, women are 3 times more likely than men to report IBS symptoms to their providers. IBS accounts for approximately 12% of all primary care physician visits and is a common cause of referral to gastroenterologists.Direct medical costs for the management of IBS, not including prescription or over-the-counter medications,range from $1.5-10 billion annually.The indirect costs of IBS include missed workdays, low work productivity and the restriction of activities. In January 2021, ACG published updated position statements on the diagnosis and management of IBS to guide clinicians when treating and making recommendations for this group of patients.