symptoms of IBD

A new study commissioned by Eli Lilly has revealed that many patients don’t report symptoms of IBD due to embarrassment. The US-based CONFINED (Communicating Needs and Features of IBD Experiences) study reveals a worrying number of people feel too embarrassed to report symptoms such as bowel urgency.

While it is understandable you might feel a little embarrassed by unpleasant symptoms, it’s important not to let it hold you back from reporting them. Here, you’ll discover what the recent research found and the importance of seeking help for the symptoms of IBD.

What the new IBD study revealed

Carried out by Adelphi Real World, the recent CONFINED study included 200 healthcare practitioners and 200 adults diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in the US. It revealed that over 60% of patients didn’t report bowel urgency as a symptom due to embarrassment.

This result alone highlights a need for better communication between healthcare practitioners and patients. Bowel urgency is one of the main symptoms of ulcerative colitis, so patients need to feel comfortable addressing the issue with their doctor.

The results of the study were reported at a Florida conference, Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, in December 2021.

What are the common symptoms of IBD?

There are a range of conditions diagnosed as IBD. Therefore, symptoms will vary depending upon the specific condition patients have. However, general symptoms of IBD patients should watch out for include:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea/bowel urgency
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anaemia
  • Tiredness/fatigue

Alongside the symptoms above, many patients also feel generally unwell. Some of these symptoms can also link to a more serious underlying issue such as bowel cancer. Therefore, if patients do experience these symptoms, it is essential to have them checked out as quickly as possible.

Why patients needn’t feel embarrassed about IBD symptoms

Though it is understandable patients might feel embarrassed to talk about symptoms such as bowel urgency, there really isn’t a need to. Doctors and healthcare practitioners are used to dealing with sensitive and embarrassing symptoms. They are there to make you feel comfortable and they don’t judge patients for any symptoms they experience.

If patients don’t feel comfortable talking about sensitive and potentially embarrassing issues with their doctor, they should look into finding another one. IBD is a lot more common than you might think. Embarrassing symptoms such as bowel urgency are something health care practitioners deal with on almost a daily basis. So, it might be embarrassing to you but for a doctor, it is a symptom that needs to be assessed.

Like any condition, IBD is best treated when it is diagnosed early. There are a lot of effective treatments out there that can improve quality of life and control unpleasant symptoms. If you suspect you have IBD, call 01926 492969 to book a consultation with Mr Stellakis today.