Patient Perspectives: Living with IBS in a Pandemic (Salix Pharmaceuticals)

New report reveals that more than one-third of IBS Patients surveyed state it has been more challenging to manage their symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Salix released a report of survey results that offers perspectives from U.S. adults living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Entitled, Patient Perspectives: Living with IBS in a Pandemic, the report provides insights about the symptoms and behaviors of IBS patients over the past year (March 2020 – March 2021). Most notably, more than one-third (37%) of those surveyed acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging to manage their IBS symptoms. The report, which was developed based on a survey conducted by The Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, also finds concerns about post-pandemic life and insights about the way patients are communicating with their health care providers.

“It’s been just over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic upended lives across the nation. Salix is committed to helping patients with GI conditions, and we believe it is important to gain an understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact people living with IBS, a common gastrointestinal disorder that is estimated to affect more than 12 million Americans1,” said Robert Spurr, president, Salix Pharmaceuticals. “We believe these new insights may foster important dialogue between health care providers and their patients.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • The pandemic is impacting the wellbeing of IBS patients with 49% reporting that their mental health has worsened. Of the respondents, 51% report worse physical activity and 34% state worse eating habits.
  • Many respondents report deteriorating IBS symptoms. According to the survey, 33% report worsened diarrhea, 31% report worsened constipation, 39% report worsened abdominal pain or discomfort, and 42% report worsened bloating.
    • Fewer than 15% of patients surveyed living with these symptoms report experiencing an improvement over the past year.
  • 35% of respondents have not discussed their IBS symptoms with a health care provider at all since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  • Respondents express concerns about post-pandemic life, including lack of access to restrooms (55%) and being able to attend social gatherings (48%).

>> To view the complete findings from the Patient Perspectives: Living with IBS in a Pandemic report, visit here.


1. Palsson OS, Whitehead W, Törnblom H, Sperber AD, Simren M. Prevalence of Rome IV Functional Bowel Disorders Among Adults in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Gastroenterology. 2020 Apr;158(5):1262-1273.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.021. Epub 2020 Jan 7. PMID: 31917991.