Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most commonly diagnosed condition, which accounts for the highest number of new referrals to gastroenterology clinics. The disease is characterized by symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, or a combination of both constipation and diarrhea, which could be accompanied by discharge of mucus in stool and changes in its appearance. The precise etiology of IBS and its pathophysiology are still unknown. However, it is believed that complex interactions between the hormonal, immune, and nervous systems are responsible for causing it. The prevalence of IBS varies across different regions globally, with the highest prevalence reported in South America (21%) and the lowest in Southeast Asia (7%). This review highlights several factors responsible for contributing to the development of IBS, among which stress was found to be an important factor. The current study observed an association between the increasing prevalence of IBS and stressful and hectic working conditions among healthcare professionals compared to the general public. General practitioners, family physicians, nurses, and dentists are exposed to several stressors due to their workload, resulting in an increased prevalence of IBS among healthcare professionals. Similarly, more stress is experienced by the medical students than the normal population because of the stressful academic environment. The review concludes that IBS is more prevalent among healthcare professionals and students, especially among female workers and students, than male workers and students.
Key words: IBS, diarrhea, diagnosed, Syndrome