Irritable Bowel Syndrome In America 2016


The team at IrritableBowelSyndrome.net conducted our inaugural “IBS in America” survey with the goal of gaining a better understanding of the many aspects of what it’s like to live with and manage IBS. In this survey, we included questions about diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, and the impact that IBS has on a person’s day-to-day life. Over 1,000 people completed our 100-question survey, and we have summarized some of the key results from this year’s survey.You can also view the 2016 IBS in America Infographic.


96% of survey respondents were primarily female with an average age of 59.4.


The onset of IBS can start at any age. Most won’t seek a formal diagnosis until well into adulthood. Among those surveyed, only 7 in 10 had been formally diagnosed with IBS by a healthcare professional.



97% wished they had more information at the time of their IBS diagnosis, from symptoms (67%) to the condition’s impact on their lifestyle (64%).



Only 2% of individuals indicated they were able to manage all of their IBS symptoms



85% of individuals have identified their IBS triggers, with stress being the leading trigger.


75% experience complications in conjunction with their IBS; hemorrhoids (60%) and GERD (55%) are the most common.



Many do not continue to see a doctor because they prefer to manage on their own (32%) or they do not find them to be helpful (27%)


Doctor office visits were reported to be short even though IBS management is a complicated process; 88% have visits that last typically less than 30 minutes.



Only 26% of those surveyed were satisfied with their current IBS treatment plan.



Vitamins (44%), probiotics (43%), and exercise (43%) were other commonly used therapies for managing one’s IBS symptoms.


15% of respondents have tried and only 5% were currently using a branded product


Among over-the-counter treatments used, antidiarrheals, fiber supplements, and laxatives were rated as the most effective.


92% of individuals wished others understood the impact of IBS on those with the condition




Most turn to their healthcare professional (57%), general health websites (45%), and IBS-specific websites (38%) for this type of information.


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