Irritable Bowel Syndrome Among Female Students in Princess Nourah University in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Nahla Mohamed, Hanan Khalid, Khuld Abdullah, Nuha Ramadan, Ruba Alzuhairi, Rawabi Alqurashi, Raja El hasnaoui-Saadani


In this study, our objective was to explore the knowledge of Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS) among university female students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). A cross-sectional study was conducted where 307 university students were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire to assess their awareness. The questionnaire was based on the socio-demographic and life-style characteristics of the students to evaluate the prevalence of IBS in the community.  About 60% of the population in the age group of 18-20 years are at a high risk of suffering from IBS. However, no significant difference is demonstrated between lifestyle habits such as consumption of fast and spicy foods and physical activities and onset of IBS among the students. Nevertheless, frequent episodes of exercise in a week may reduce the probability of IBS onset. Interestingly, almost half of the student population mentioned that they were taking antibiotics and their sleep was interrupted as they woke up in the middle of the night.  Also, majority of the population indicated that their stool texture was different, either hard or loose associated with a pain and distended abdomen followed with gastritis. Abdominal discomfort, feeling of bloating, altered texture of stool and urgency to defecate could be due to the development of psychological stress associated with academics, which possibly intensifies the disease symptoms. Initial findings from our study justifies the need of future longitudinal surveys to validate the existence of psychological stressors and other risk factors in the development of IBS subtypes.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome; female; cross-sectional ; university students ; lifestyle.

Full Text:



. Eriksson EM, Andrén KI, Kurlberg GK, Eriksson HT. Aspects of the non-pharmacological treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Oct 28;21(40):11439-49 (4).

. Raika Jamali, Mostafa Raisi, Mohammad Matini, Alireza Moravveji, Abdollah Omidi, and Jaleh Amini. Health related quality of life in irritable bowel syndrome patients, Kashan, Iran: A case control study. Adv Biomed Res. 2015; 4: 75 (5).

. J E Kellow, S F Phillips, L J Miller, and A R Zinsmeister. Dysmotility of the small intestine in irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 1988 Sep; 29(9): 1236–1243 (1).

. H Y Qin, C W Cheng, X D Tang, and Z X Bian. Impact of psychological stress on irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct 21; 20(39): 14126–14131 (2).

. Bonfiglio F, Zheng T, Garcia-Etxebarria K, Hadizadeh F, Bujanda L, Bresso F, Agreus L, Andreasson A, Dlugosz A, Lindberg G, Schmidt PT, Karling P, Ohlsson B, Simren M, Walter S, Nardone G, Cuomo R, Usai-Satta P, Galeazzi F, Neri M, Portincasa P, Bellini M, Barbara G, Latiano A, Hübenthal M, Thijs V, Netea MG, Jonkers D, Chang L, Mayer EA, Wouters MM, Boeckxstaens G, Camilleri M, Franke A, Zhernakova A, D'Amato M. Female-specific Association Between Variants on Chromosome 9 and Self-reported Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2018 Apr 4; S0016-5085(18)30407-4 (3).

. Brian E. Lacy and Nihal K. Patel. Rome Criteria and a Diagnostic Approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. J Clin Med. 2017 Nov; 6(11): 99.

. Syed Saad Naeem, Efaza Umar Siddiqui, Abdul Nafey Kazi, Akhtar Amin Memon, Sumaiya Tauseeq Khan and Bilal Ahmed. Prevalence and factors associated with irritable bowel syndrome among medical students of Karachi, Pakistan: A cross-sectional study. BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:255.

. Okeke EN1, Ladep NG, Adah S, Bupwatda PW, Agaba EI, Malu AO. Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome: a community survey in an African population. Ann Afr Med. 2009 Jul-Sep; 8(3):177-80.

. Sarah Rauf Qureshi,1 Ahmed M Abdelaal,1 Zaynab A Janjua,1 Hajar A Alasmari,1 Adam S Obad,1 Abdulhadi Alamodi,1and Mohammad Abrar Shareef. Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Global Challenge Among Medical Students. Cureus. 2016 Aug; 8(8): e721.

. Nagat Elmulthum, Ilham Elsayed. Prospects of Saudi Women’s Contribution to Job Market under Saudi Vision 2030: An Empirical Analysis 1999-2015. International Journal of Applied Sociology 2017, 7(1): 20-27

. David Q. Shih, MD and Lola Y. Kwan, MD. All Roads Lead to Rome: Update on Rome III Criteria and New Treatment Options. Gastroenterol Rep. 2007 WINTER; 1(2): 56–65

. Chun-Yan Li and Shu-Chuen Li. Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in China: A review. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Feb 28; 21(8): 2315–2322.

. Borko Nojkov, Joel H. Rubenstein, William D. Chey, and Willemijntje A. Hoogerwerf. The Impact of Rotating Shift Work on the Prevalence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Nurses. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Apr; 105(4): 842–847.

. Katsinelos P1, Lazaraki G, Kountouras J, Paroutoglou G, Oikonomidou I, Mimidis K, Koutras C, Gelas G, Tziomalos K, Zavos C, Pilpilidis I, Chatzimavroudis G. Prevalence, bowel habit subtypes and medical care-seeking behaviour of patients with irritable bowel syndrome in Northern Greece. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Feb;21(2):183-9.

. QiQi Zhou, Buyi Zhang, and G. Nicholas Verne. Intestinal Membrane Permeability and Hypersensitivity In the Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Pain. 2009 Nov; 146(1-2): 41–46.


  • There are currently no refbacks.





About IJSBAR | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

IJSBAR is published by (GSSRR).