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!
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences