A quarter of the women in the
UK experience digestive problems, a survey reveals,
with women twice as likely as men to suffer from
constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Anxiety and depression may account for the
association with IBS, but constipation has a simpler
they don't drink enough water.
US research shows people miss work for IBS more
than anything else except colds. If you have
symptoms, it's important to see a doctor to exclude
serious bowel conditions. IBS is uncomfortable, but
doesn't lead to serious complications.
Surprisingly, two-thirds of people with these
symptoms suffer in silence, though a lot can be done
If you answer yes to both questions below, you
may have the complaint. In the past three months,
have you experienced recurrent symptoms of:
• Abdominal pain or discomfort
which is relieved by defecation; and/or associated
with a change in frequency of stool; and/or
associated with a change in consistency of stool?
• Two of the following at least
25 per cent of days or occasions: altered stool
frequency (over three movements per day or fewer
than three per week); altered stool form (lumpy/hard
or loose/watery); altered stool passage (straining,
urgency or incomplete evacuation); passing mucus;