Sleepless nights may just be the culprit for irritable bowel syndrome

If you have unexplained bouts of abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, you may have a condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 

IBS affects about one in 10 people in Singapore. A study led by Professor Gwee, a gastroenterologist from Gleneagles Hospital and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the National University of Singapore, found that people who suffer from it tend to be under 50, and are more educated and affluent. 

The symptoms tend to occur repeatedly, usually over a few months or even years. Possible triggers for IBS include food poisoning, use of antibiotics, surgery in the abdomen, and major life events that may cause great stress to a person.

Increasingly, studies have shown that IBS is linked to insomnia, with IBS patients reporting disturbed sleep or difficulty falling asleep. Prof Gwee explains how IBS and insomnia are related and shares coping strategies.