APRIL IS IBS AWARENESS MONTH; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 62
(Extensions of Remarks - April 29, 2014)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E620]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                      APRIL IS IBS AWARENESS MONTH

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. JAMES P. MORAN

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize April as IBS 
Awareness Month. Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a functional 
gastrointestinal disorder. It is characterized by recurring abdominal 
pain or discomfort related to changes in intestinal function. Other GI 
symptoms, such as nausea or bloating, and non-GI symptoms, such as 
sleep disturbances or headache, may often occur. IBS affects up to 15 
percent of the U.S. population and accounts for roughly 40 percent of 
all referrals to gastroenterologists.
  There is no cure and there are few treatments options for IBS, many 
of which are only marginally effective. Individuals with moderate to 
severe IBS struggle with symptoms that significantly limit their 
physical, emotional, economic, and social well-being. For example, a 
recent study found that employees with IBS had higher average total 
healthcare costs, and significantly higher medically related work 
absenteeism.
  People of all ages are affected by IBS. One study found that 14 
percent of high school students and six percent of middle school 
students have IBS. Children with IBS are also more likely to experience 
anxiety and depression and a disruption of normal activities and social 
interactions. In addition, veterans and active military personnel are 
disproportionately represented by those suffering from IBS and other 
functional gastrointestinal disorders due to their exposure to 
increased risk factors.
  I am encouraged by efforts by non-profits to provide education, 
support, and advancing research. Recently, the International Foundation 
for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) developed a smart-
phone app that allows patients to access information on IBS, including 
treatment options. These are the kind of new initiatives that need 
advancing so that the millions of Americans with IBS can be treated 
more effectively.
  I urge my fellow Members of Congress to support research efforts and 
to raise awareness for IBS. As an institution, let's agree to lessen 
the stigma for IBS patients and urge those who may be affected by IBS 
to find out more and get the help they need.

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