SHEFFIELD, England, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
A recent survey of 219 people who treat themselves for IBS has found that 80% of them feel some anxiety associated with the very common condition - over 52% were 'very' or 'extremely anxious' about it .
The same survey also found that the large majority (78%) of GPs are sympathetic to the plight of their IBS patients. Despite that, it may require anywhere between 1 and 5 visits before other conditions that give rise to the same symptoms, notably Crohn's Disease or Colitis, can be excluded and a formal diagnosis is given.
For that reason, Ferring UK today launches IBSscreen, a rapid test to help people with chronic abdominal symptoms - including Irritable Bowel Syndrome - determine with confidence whether their symptoms really are due to IBS. That way, IBSscreen can help set someone more at ease or set them on the right course of treatment.
IBSscreen, which is as quick and as convenient as a pregnancy test, can be conducted in the privacy of the sufferer's home and takes only 10 minutes to do. That, together with a short questionnaire that is included in each pack or online at http://www.IBSscreen.co.uk, should inform the sufferer what steps may be needed to effectively manage the symptoms.
IBSscreen is as accurate as the tests for IBD run in hospital and the test is already in use by some NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups. Therefore, the user can have confidence in the result. As Dr Nick Read, Chair of Trustees and Medical Adviser of The IBS Network says, "With this test, people can be reassured that they don't have chronic inflammation of the bowels".
IBS - The hidden distress of 11 million people
Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects nearly 10-20% of the UK population - between 6 and 13 million people in all. It usually presents as pain in the abdomen and bloating. Other symptoms include altered bowel habit (alternating constipation and diarrhoea), gas and abdominal cramps. It is also associated with other symptoms such as lethargy, headaches and urinary frequency. So, IBS can affect the whole person, not just the gut.
In addition, 50-60% of people with IBS can frequently suffer from anxiety and depression. Although this has not been shown to worsen the perception of the pain, it is an additional strain on the sufferer. Dr Read says that: "Many IBS patients suffer in silence with their condition. This can cause feelings of isolation which will deepen their distress."
IBS itself is not life-threatening - even though it is a legitimate disorder as opposed to being 'nothing wrong' - and having the condition does not mean that it will lead to anything more serious. The symptoms are caused when the muscles in the gut spasm at the wrong time and this manifests itself as acute, excruciating pain.
There are numerous treatments available for IBS, many of which are available on prescription including laxatives, fibre or bulking agents and antispasmodic drugs. In addition, sufferers can find relief through changes in diet as well as other techniques such as relaxation therapy to reduce stress.
IBSscreen - How the home test works
IBSscreen detects the presence of a chemical called calprotectin. This chemical, which is found in your stools, is only present when there is inflammation in the gut. Its presence means that you could have a condition like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (e.g. Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis), whilst its absence - which is 50 times more likely numerically in the UK population, - means that you might have a 'functional' bowel disorder such as IBS or chronic constipation.
Each pack contains the following items:
- A small vial containing a reagent and a sample probe
- A test strip
- A paper stool catcher
- A short symptom questionnaire
- Instructions for use
IBSscreen can be used the next time you visit the toilet.
- Sling the paper stool catcher across the toilet seat
- Remove the sample probe from the vial and insert it in three different locations of the stool (this may seem unpleasant but it is very quick and shouldn't even need the wearing of gloves!)
- Replace the probe in the vial - the collar on the vial will remove any excess sample material
- Shake the vial with the reagent
- Break the seal at the other end of the vial and put three drops only on the test strip
- Within 10 minutes you should see a red line develop - this is a confirmation line that the test is working
- If you see a second line, then IBSscreen has detected the calprotectin and you should see a doctor for further investigation
- If no second line appears, then you can be assured that you have a 'functional' disorder such as IBS or constipation and you can relax that it is readily treatable
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Headquartered in Switzerland, Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets.
The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and orthopaedics. Ferring has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries.
To learn more about Ferring or its products please visit http://www.ferring.co.uk
- Ferring Survey of People with IBS, Data on File: March 2016
- Hungin A et al, Aliment Pharmacol Ther 17: 643-650
- Faecal calprotectin diagnostic tests for inflammatory disease of the bowel; NICE Diagnostics Guidance 11 (Oct 2013)
- IBS in adults: diagnosis and management; NICE Clinical Guidelines 61 (Feb 2008)
- Whorwell P et al, Gut. 1986 Jan; 27(1):37-40
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- Mowat C et al, Gut. 2011 May;60(5):571-607
SOURCE Ferring Pharmaceuticals