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Almost half of Brits (48%) put off going to their doctor if they suspect they have IBS, hoping symptoms would just go away naturally, according to a new survey

New research published earlier this year reveals that Brits are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to gut health, with more than 1 in 6 (18%) of the 2,000+ people surveyed, admitting they have never visited a doctor despite suffering with a bowel issue. The results also show that only 46% of Brits actually know all the symptoms of IBS.

Our refusal to seek professional medical advice immediately to help ease the symptoms of IBS has resulted in nearly 3 in 10 Brits (28%) soiling themselves in public, nearly a quarter (23%) passing wind in a meeting, nearly 1 in 5 Brits have passed wind during sex (19%) and 17% of Brits having to carry two sets of clothing because of soiling or bloating.

In fact, nearly half of those surveyed (48%) revealed that they put off going to the doctor if they suspect they have IBS or a gut problem, with 48% hoping that the issue would stop naturally, and more than 3 in 10 (31%) feeling too embarrassed to go. Over 70% of 35-44-year olds regularly suffer some form of bowel issue. An under-whelming 16% of Brits would go to the doctors after experiencing symptoms.

Sitting on the problem

Bowel conditions and the symptoms of constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, and other activities that take place in the ‘private’ realm of the toilets remain heavily taboo topics in Britain.

Therefore, embarrassment is a continual theme surrounding gut health, the Alflorex research revealed that even if their gut was causing them severe pain, nearly 4 in 10 Brits (38%) would feel uncomfortable discussing bowel issues with their boss, and a further 37% would be uncomfortable talking to their colleagues about it.

The research reveals that stress is the biggest trigger of IBS/gut problems (41%), followed by diet (29%). Those suffering with IBS/gut problems have had to make a series of adaptions in order to feel comfortable. 1 in 5 Brits have had to research public toilets before leaving the house, and a further 40% have had to carry spare toilet roll and carry spare underwear.

Over half of Brits surveyed (52%) have found themselves needing the toilet while in public and unable to find one, meaning that over 6 in 10 Brits (66%) have had to go into a pub/restaurant to use their facilities, nearly half (49%) have pretended to be a customer to use a toilet and 18% have had to run in public trying to find toilet. Distressingly 35% of adults admit to being caught short while needing the toilet in public.

Clinically proven probiotic

In the quest for a remedy, 84% of the public have tried a probiotic treatment, and over half of those suffering from IBS (53%) believe the most important benefits for a treatment of IBS/gut problems are that it treats the cause not just the symptoms. Alflorex does just that.

The supplement is the result of more than 17 years of clinical research by PrecisionBiotics and is clinically proven to address the root cause of the condition and alleviate the symptoms associated with IBS – bloating, abdominal pain and unpredictable bowel movements like diarrhoea and constipation.


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