‘I feel as if my IBS is keeping me hostage!’ Exploring the negative impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) upon university-aged women

Authors


Margaret A. Schneider, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue W., Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3C5. Email: mschneider@wlu.ca

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe the negative impact of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) upon university-aged women. This exploratory study was conducted using phenomenology, with heuristic inquiry as the guiding theoretical orientation. Seven women participated in an email interview and in a semistructured interview. The findings indicate that women with active IBD/IBS commonly experience an anxiety reaction, followed by an attack of illness. This attack then triggers a cascade of impact that negatively influences their emotional and physical well-being, ultimately affecting their overall quality of life. Health-care professionals can play an important role in minimizing the impact of IBD/IBS upon those affected, and possible interventions are suggested.

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