The struggles of IBS: A new survey reveals the profound impact on daily life.

I ran a survey with my audience about the impact of IBS, and the way Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects your day-to-day lives is really clear.

I already knew from my work with clients how big a deal IBS can be, but it’s shocking to see the data.

The survey, which involved 105 participants, sheds light on the challenges faced by those grappling with their digestion.  There is a need for better comprehensive support and education.

Key findings from the IBS survey

Here’s some highlights of the findings people told me when I asked about how IBS affects daily life. 

1. Disruption to daily activities

IBS can stop you in your tracks and require time in bed. So this can impact on your ability to attend school, work or social events. 

  • 41% of respondents admitted to missing a day of work or school due to severe IBS symptoms. 16% missed a week or more.
  • 27% cancelled romantic dates, highlighting the impact on personal relationships.
  • 45% missed important social events, and 19% even had to cancel holidays due to bad IBS symptoms.

2. Lifestyle limitations

A common reason people choose to work with me on their digestion, is the way IBS bloating can stop you wearing what you want. And it can stop you going on trips, or meals out. 

  • Over half (54%) revealed that IBS has prevented them from enjoying meals at restaurants.
  • 46% reported that IBS influenced their choice of clothing, hindering their ability to wear what they love.
  • 31% recognised that IBS has curtailed their ability to embark on long journeys.

Join my Group Gut Reset for IBS

4. Frequent bathroom visits

Spending too long in the toilet can be a real concern for people with IBS.

10% of survey participants reported going to the bathroom over six times a day for a bowel movement, illustrating the disruptive nature of IBS on daily routines.

5. Supplement use in IBS

The survey revealed that 83% of respondents have tried probiotics, 43% have experimented with digestive enzymes, and 43% have explored magnesium as a potential relief for IBS symptoms.

6. Mental toll of having IBS

IBS has a significant impact on mental well-being, with 18% of respondents admitting to thinking about their condition every hour.

14% revealed that IBS occupies their thoughts up to 10 times a day, illustrating the constant mental burden carried by individuals dealing with IBS.

7. Main concerns about having IBS:

Digestive issues can spill over to affect other parts of your life. 56% felt they were becoming obsessed with food and what it might do to them.

Other people (58%) felt misunderstood by their friends and family, worrying that people thought they were exaggerating their symptoms.

64% of people found abdominal pain the biggest issue.

For more information

These findings underscore the urgent need for increased awareness, support, and specialised care for individuals living with IBS. Anna Mapson, a dedicated IBS nutritionist, at the forefront of providing personalised solutions to people struggling with gut health.

For media inquiries, interviews, or additional information, please contact me info@goodnessme-nutrition.com 

Anna Mapson

Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritional Therapist.

I help people with IBS and SIBO get control of unpredictable gut symptoms to find long term relief from painful and embarrassing IBS without restrictive dieting.

I can help you to:

  • understand your digestion better, so you recognise your triggers
  • eat a well balanced diet, with tasty meals that are simple to prepare
  • develop better digestion and more energy

Find more about my 3 month 1:1 Gut Reset programme

Taking amitriptyline for IBS
Taking amitriptyline for IBS

Have you been offered a low dose of amitriptyline for IBS? It's a antidepressant that's sometimes offered to patients who experience significant abdominal pain related to digestion. If you're unsure about taking medication for your IBS, you're not alone. I hear this...

Why breakfast is important if you have IBS
Why breakfast is important if you have IBS

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Many people I work say they just don’t feel hungry in the morning, and so avoid eating. Maybe you don’t want to start off your bloating that hits as soon as you eat. Or you feel a bit nauseous first thing and want to...

Does being overweight cause IBS?
Does being overweight cause IBS?

I'm getting straight to the point with this one - There isn't any evidence that being a heavier weight causes IBS. But, what we eat, and the way food moves through the body can impact our body size, and can also affect digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhoea...