Sunday, June 9, 2013

Is Your Work Giving you IBS?

All jobs come with health risks. Some risks are obvious in the short-term, others seem very minor but with plenty of negative long-term consequences. Such as weight gain or irritable bowel syndrome.

Most likely to gain weight on the job
Recent CareerBuilder report shows that employees spending long hours behind a desk or experiencing high levels of stress gain weight on the job. Chances to gain weight are 69% for administrative assistants, 56% for engineers including software developers, 51% for teachers and K-12 instructors, 51% for B14 nurse practitioners and physician assistants, 51% for IT managers and network administrators, 46% for attorneys, judges and legal professionals, 45% for operators, assembly line and production workers and 39% for biological, physical and social scientists.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also associated with stressful, sedentary and less regular lifestyles. Some studies showed that this common disorder is more prevalent among the unemployed, those with lower income and education. But this could be a consequence rather than the cause. As IBS is more likely to occur in teenagers and singles (or stressed heads of households) under the age of 40. And the younger the person, the more it affects the social functioning, making it more difficult to get higher education, employment and advance career.

Studies all over the world showed that students are among the most vulnerable to IBS populations. The risk of getting it is 30% or higher. High stress, irregular schedules and lousy diets are a way of life for most students. Attending a university or college is a stressful experience, indeed. IBS flareups, however, do not directly correlate with stress per se, rather with the perceived stress. A study that looked at military veterans, for example, found that those who developed IBS had twice higher rates of anxiety and depression than other veterans. Female veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder had 3-9 times higher rate of IBS. Prevalence of IBS in female veterans was about 40%, higher than for students. Rates of IBS among another stressful profession - nursing - are about the same as for students. But rates for rotating shift nurses can be as high as almost 50% - even higher than for military personnel.

So, if you want to avoid IBS, become a dietitian - it's one of the least stressful jobs with fixed hours and opportunities to think about healthy food choices. Or be your own Aurametrix, to find what foods, activities and environmental exposures work best for you - and in what amounts and combinations.


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Unknown said...

People often under-estimate the role stress can play for health in general and IBS, specifically. Some people might laugh at this, but yoga can help wonders for stress management as well.

The truth is that stress is a hormonal response, and complete management requires activity (exercise or yoga) and proper diet.

Some folks swear by digestive enzymes as part of an ongoing effort to manage IBS.

Team Sorbeo

Dr Pullen said...

My understanding is that the most stressful jobs are those where an individual has the least control over their time and outcomes. Seemingly high pressure jobs with lots of autonomy seem not to be as high stress. I suspect IBS is higher too in the really stressful jobs.

My Bikini Belly said...

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