1. Section Editor(s): Pfeifer, Gail M. MA, RN

Article Content

Rotating shifts linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in nurses. The risks of both IBS and abdominal pain were significantly higher in nurses who worked rotating shifts (shift workers) than in those who routinely worked day or night shifts, finds a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Shift workers often complain of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea-the symptoms commonly seen in IBS. Among the 399 nurses surveyed, 214 worked day shifts, 110 night shifts, and 75 rotated shifts. Rotating shift nurses reported more IBS symptoms (48%) than permanent day (31%) or night (40%) shift workers. The authors surmise that changes in the gut brought about by disruption of the circadian rhythm may be the cause.