Research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2021 showed a surprising positive to COVID-19 lockdowns for people with IBS.

Expecting to find a worsening of IBS symptoms as a result of the pressure and stress of COVID-19, the researchers from Argentina were surprised to discover that the number of patients experiencing severe IBS fell sharply during their long period of lockdown. Participants in the study also reported improvements to IBS symptoms of pain, distention, stool consistency, anxiety, somatisation, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symptoms during the period. 

“We think the results have something to do with people staying at home,” said Dr Juan Pablo Stefanolo, a lead author on the study and a physician with the Neurogastroenterology and Motility section, Hospital de Clínicas José de San Martín, Buenos Aires University, Argentina. “They were not exposed to outside stress and at home they were able to avoid food triggers.”

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