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Does a job requiring shift work put you at risk for IBS? A new study attempted to find an answer to this question by studying the rate of IBS in nurses.

According to the study abstract, approximately 400 nurses were recruited to fill out questionnaires regarding IBS symptoms, IBS quality of life, and sleep habits. For purposes of data comparison, the nurses were divided into three groups, according to the shift they work: day, night and rotating.

The results indicated that regardless of age, gender and sleep habit, the nurses who worked a rotating shift were found to be significantly more likely to suffer from IBS, as well as to be more likely to suffer from abdominal pain, than the nurses in the other two groups. All three groups of nurses showed higher rates of IBS than would be seen in the general population. The authors conclude that "circadian rhythm disturbances" may play a part in the development of IBS.

Those of you who see a clear relationship between your quality of sleep and the severity of your IBS symptoms will not be surprised by these results. I am just saddened to read that nurses are at higher risk for IBS, as I am a huge fan of nurses. I have routinely found them to be exceptionally hard-working and caring individuals. As the old saying goes, I guess "no good deed goes unpunished".

Does your job involve shift work? Do you think it contributes to your IBS? Let me know by leaving a comment below.


[sub]Nojkov, B., Rubenstein, J., Chey, W. & Hoogerwerf, W. "The Impact of Rotating Shift Work on the Prevalence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Nurses" American Journal of Gastroenterology Advance online publication February 16, 2010.[/sub]

Shift Work and IBS originally appeared on Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 03:38:17.

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