Gail S. Thornton
West Mill Consulting
FINDINGS FROM TWO SURVEYS CONFIRM DEBILITATING NATURE OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS), A CONDITION WHERE PATIENTS SHOULD BE MORE ACTIVE IN MANAGING THEIR CONDITION
- American Gastroenterological Association survey finds that individuals may suffer from IBS for years, sometimes decades, before seeing a doctor
- 78 percent of respondents to International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders survey had continuous or frequently recurring abdominal pain during the last six months
- IBgard ®, a clinically studied medical food, endorsed by gastroenterologists nationwide
Bethesda, Md., Milwaukee, Wis., and Boca Raton, Fla. – (March 2, 2016) – IM HealthScience® today reported on several survey findings that highlight the debilitating, serious nature of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that affects one in six Americans. The survey results show individuals with IBS have a significant burden affecting their daily quality of life and point to the need for a more proactive approach in managing their condition. IBS is a frustrating, under-diagnosed, and undertreated condition characterized by abdominal pain associated with abnormal bowel habits. It can be severe – even unbearable – for some patients. Bloating is another very common symptom.
“IBS is an important health issue which drastically affects quality of life,” said Michael S. Epstein, M.D., a leading gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Advisor for IM HealthScience® LLC, innovators of IBgard®, a novel medical food containing peppermint oil for the dietary management of IBS. “People with IBS symptoms need to be proactive about their condition and talk to their doctor about helping them manage their IBS symptoms.”
AGA Survey Shows Significant Burden of IBS
A recent “IBS in America” survey, carried out by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), shows that patients with IBS “have a significant daily burden affecting them physically, emotionally and socially.”1 This comprehensive IBS survey of patients and physicians, demonstrated that the symptoms of IBS are often so bothersome and unpredictable that they interfere with daily life at home, work and school.
The AGA survey results suggest three things individuals can do to help their doctor manage their IBS – “Speak Up Early, Completely and Often.” With open, honest conversations and feedback, doctors are more likely to be able to help their patients navigate their own IBS treatment path.
Key findings include:
- 85 percent discussed IBS primarily with family or friends in addition to a doctor. A majority (59 percent) said they received advice from these folks, and nine in 10 say they have followed this advice;
- 74 percent said they felt frustrated and 34 percent said they felt depressed;
- 70 percent said they had symptoms at least 2 to 3 days per week; and
- 52 percent reported “extremely/very bothersome” symptoms, and among them, 55 percent said they would give up caffeine, 47 percent said they would give up their cell phone or the internet and 40 percent said they would give up sex for one month for the chance to feel one month of
The survey draws attention to the need to recognize the daily burden IBS imposes on sufferers, including abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating or cramping. Nearly one in four respondents said they are “not at all” able to accurately predict if they will experience symptoms on any given day. Those with IBS symptoms report that these symptoms interfered with their productivity and performance, on average, nine days per month, and caused those respondents to miss school/work two days per month, on average.
The AGA survey notes the need for sufferers to move from self-help to communication; “talking to a doctor, not your BFF, is half the battle. Have an honest, open conversation with your doctor, early and often.” Two thirds of those who have spoken with their doctor report being somewhat or very satisfied with their care.
IFFGD Survey Reveals Abdominal Pain As Constant and Dominant Symptom
In a survey, entitled “IBS Patients: Their Illness Experience and Unmet Needs Survey Report,” conducted by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), a registered nonprofit education and research organization, IBS respondents reported abdominal pain as their dominant symptom, with 78 percent reporting having continuous or frequently recurring abdominal pain during the last six months. Of those who experience pain, one-fourth described the pain as constant.
Additionally, respondents reported restricting their usual activities due to their health an average of more than 73 days a year—20 percent of the calendar year.2
Patient Perspective On Use of IBgard® and IBS: A Patient’s Journey
After years of battling constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas and abdominal pain, Arielle Toth was diagnosed with IBS at the age of 15.
Determined to get her symptoms under better control, she spent years of trial and error, hard work, reading about the latest research, and taking care of herself through proper nutrition and diet and stress management techniques. Toth takes an occasional prescription medication, and has tried multivitamin and natural supplements. After trying IBgard®, in consultation with her doctor, she said, “IBgard® worked very well to ease the symptoms of my IBS and I was quite surprised with the results. The pain and bloating disappeared. Whenever I feel a flare-up coming on, I take a capsule and feel better within 10 minutes.”
Today, Toth shares her experiences with fellow IBS sufferers through her social media health and wellness site and related blog, The Happy Tummy, where she gladly offers support and advice from her own experiences over 10 years on topics such as recipes, dining out and related support groups. “IBgard® is great for when you are on the go because it works fast so you don’t have to deal with embarrassing IBS symptoms.”
IBgard® capsules contain l-Menthol, the principal component in peppermint oil, which has been shown to have significant impact on the management of IBS symptoms, especially abdominal pain in as early as 24 hours. In multiple clinical studies, peppermint oil has been shown to provide relief from IBS symptoms. With its patented SST® technology, pioneered by IM HealthScience®. IBgard® capsules release Ultramen®, an ultra-purified peppermint oil, in the small intestine. Peppermint oil can help normalize the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, which have been compromised by IBS. Peppermint oil has also been shown to normalize intestinal transit time.
Over 10,000 healthcare practitioners, including 3,000 gastroenterologists, are estimated to have already used IBgard® for their patients. In a recent nationwide survey of gastroenterologists, IBgard® was the number one recommended peppermint oil for IBS. While IBgard® does not require a prescription, it should be used under medical supervision. The usual adult dose of IBgard® is 1-2 capsules as needed, up to three times a day, not to exceed 8 capsules per day.
IBgard® is now accessible to consumers in the digestive aisle at most CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens stores nationwide.
About IM HealthScience®
IM HealthScience® is a privately held company based in Boca Raton, Florida, that developed IBgard®. It was founded in 2010 by a team of highly experienced pharmaceutical research and development and management executives. The company is dedicated to developing products to address gastrointestinal issues where there is a high unmet need, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Functional Dyspepsia, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s Disease. The IM HealthScience® advantage comes from developing products based on its patented, targeted- delivery technologies called Site Specific Targeting (SST®). For more information, visit www.IBgard.com to learn more about IBgard®.
1 “IBS in America” Summary Survey Findings.” Available at: https://ibsinamerica.gastro.org/files/IBS_in_America_Survey_Report_2015-12-16.pdf
2 IBS Patients: Their Illness Experience and Unmet Needs Survey Report.