Nurses participating in shift work, especially those working rotating shifts, face a significantly increased risk of developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and abdominal pain compared to those working a standard day-time schedule, according to research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
"We know that people participating in shift work often complain of gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea," says Sandra Hoogerwerf, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. "These are the same symptoms of IBS."
IBS is the most common functional bowel disorder and is difficult to identify because it is diagnosed by clinical symptoms rather than tests, says Hoogerwerf, lead author of the study. IBS symptoms include recurrent episodes of abdominal pain or cramping in connection with altered bowel habits.
Hoogerwerf and her collegues evaluated nurses classified into three groups—214 working permanent day shifts, 110 working permanent night shifts and 75 working rotating shifts between day and night—based on self-reported abdominal symptoms and sleep quality. More than 85% were women.
"Our findings suggest that nurses participating in shift work, particularly those who participate in rotating shift work, have a higher prevalence of IBS and abdominal pain. This association is independent of sleep quality," the authors write.
"We know the colon has its own biological clock and that's what increases the likelihood of having a bowel movement in the first six hours of the day," Hoogerwerf says.
"Shift work can cause chronic disruption of that biological rhythm, resulting in that clock to constantly be thrown off and needing to adjust, creating symptoms of diarrhea, boating, constipation and abdominal pain and discomfort."
The researchers say their study suggests that sleep disturbances do not completely explain the existence of IBS or abdominal pain associated with shift work.
"The question now for further research is if IBS and abdominal pain is an underlying manifestation of a circadian rhythm disorder," Hoogerwerf says.
Meanwhile, the researchers suggest "practicing gastroenterologists should be aware of this association and educate patients with IBS on the possible impact of their work schedule on their symptoms."
The Michigan Bowel Control Program offers a multidisciplinary approach with quick diagnostic testing, endoscopic procedures provided by gastroenterology physicians and colorectal surgeons, specialized pelvic floor nerve and muscle testing, surgeons with operative experience in colorectal and urogynecological interventions, pelvic floor muscle strengthening and biofeedback program provided by physical therapists and rapid reports to the patient's primary care or referring physician. http://www.med.umich.edu/bowelcontrol/index.shtml
Additional authors: Along with Hoogerwerf, Borko Nojkov, M.D., Beaumont Services Company; Joel H. Rubenstein, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School; and William D. Chey, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.
Reference: Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication 16 February 2010; doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.48
Jenna Frye | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences