Skip to main content
cylinder how health plans can tackle gi symptoms in the workplace

The new Cylinder 2024 State of Gut Health in the Workplace survey report highlights the toll gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms can take on employee job performance. Of note: 71% of Americans experience GI issues at least a few times a month. Among those employed, 72% reported being less productive at work when they experience GI issues.

In addition, 59% of those employed who experience GI issues at least a few times a month or who are diagnosed with a GI condition said they had missed a day of work, left early, or come in late due to GI issues.

Despite the prevalence of disruptive GI symptoms, many employees don’t feel comfortable discussing GI issues with their managers. At the same time, 67% of employees who experience GI issues at least a few times a month or are diagnosed with a GI condition wish their employer offered benefits and resources to manage their GI symptoms.

What can employers do to manage the costly but often invisible problems associated with GI symptoms, conditions, and diseases in the workplace?

This blog post highlights three best practices:

  • Culture: Employers can work with HR leaders to normalize conversations around GI issues so employees can address symptoms as they arise.
  • Education: Health plans can offer more access to the information workers need to understand their GI symptoms and seek treatment. Employers can focus on employee education about these resources (where, when, and how to use GI resources).
  • Benefits: Health plans and employers can seek GI-specific benefits designed to diagnose and treat GI issues while minimizing ER visits and maximizing medication adherence.

Here’s how each of these best practices might manifest across an organization.

Normalize GI Conversations

“It’s uncomfortable for people to talk about GI symptoms,” said Dr. Hau Liu, Cylinder’s Chief Medical Officer. “Because of that, many people don’t realize how common these symptoms are.”

One problem, he notes, is that GI symptoms can be disruptive. Nearly 60% of American employees who experience GI issues at least a few times a month or who are diagnosed with a GI condition said they had missed a day of work, left early, or came in late due to GI issues (1).

Yet, as our study found, 67% of employees who experience GI issues at least a few times a month or are diagnosed with a GI condition said they don’t feel comfortable discussing their GI issues with their manager at work (1).

One of the easiest ways employers can acknowledge this stigma and start to reverse it is by talking about GI issues more often.

This doesn’t mean that employees need to share detailed symptom updates. Sharing educational resources (including the Cylinder 2024 State of Gut Health in the Workplace survey report) about the prevalence of GI issues and how they can impact workplace performance is a great place to start.

If we don’t often talk about GI symptoms, experiencing them can isolate employees. But when employees with regular GI discomfort know their experience is shared by many of their peers, it can be a relief – and a gateway to tackling the underlying issues.

Educate Employees About GI Symptoms and Treatment

GI symptoms are often stressful because even when an employee might have a good idea about what’s wrong, there’s often no clear path to finding a solution to manage the discomfort or pain.

For example, many people who experience digestive issues have food intolerances but don’t know which specific foods cause problems for them. When Cylinder members receive a food intolerance analysis, most are surprised to discover their trigger food culprit. Also, many members have incorrectly assumed they cannot tolerate certain foods but find those ‘suspected’ foods are tolerable once they work through the elimination diet process with their Cylinder care team.

While many people start their diagnosis and treatment journey with a primary care provider (PCP), digestive health issues can be complex and nebulous, causing employees to feel frustrated when they don’t get the care they need. For example, a study showed it takes an average of 6+ years of physician visits and medical tests to reach a diagnosis of IBS after the onset of symptoms.

This can also make the cost of managing GI symptoms much higher than necessary.

Many health plans include educational resources that employers can highlight for employees. Adding GI-specific resources empowers employees to find the care they need without going on a high-cost, high-utilization health care journey.

Lunch-and-learns, internal communications platforms, and webinars from brokers or HR teams can also provide employees with the information they need to seek appropriate care and relieve symptoms.

Provide Access to GI-Specific Benefits

GI issues often go undetected in health care claims data. The hidden costs are significant: GI issues cost $136 billion annually, which is more than heart disease ($113 billion), trauma ($103 billion), and mental health ($99 billion).

Addressing GI symptoms head-on is key to managing these costs. Ideally, this includes access to benefits that give employees a team of providers who work collaboratively to tackle GI issues.

For example, Cylinder members receiving GI-focused benefits have dedicated access to a coordinated team of care professionals, including Registered Dietitians, Health Coaches, and physicians who help employees manage digestive health. This comprehensive approach helps Cylinder members get the right care at the right time, often faster than possible compared to traditional health care settings.

While coordinated care can benefit anyone experiencing GI symptoms, the right treatments vary widely from person to person. Therefore, GI-focused benefits must include evidence-based clinical pathways personalized to each patient’s needs.

These benefits should also include self-service tools and resources so employees can access information and guidance on demand, regardless of provider availability.

There’s evidence that offering such benefits also improves employee satisfaction. The Cylinder 2024 State of Gut Health in the Workplace report found that 67% of American employees who experience GI issues at least a few times a month or are diagnosed with a GI condition wish their employer offered benefits and resources to help manage GI symptoms.

Improve Productivity by Supporting Gut Health

No one does their best work when in pain, anxious, or concerned about medical bills. Providing resources to address GI issues can help employees reduce the discomfort those issues cause while minimizing the anxiety and cost associated with seeking solutions.

Given the right information, tools, and resources, the 71% of Americans who experience digestive issues at least a few times a month can resolve their symptoms, perform better at work, and – most importantly – enjoy a better quality of life. Employers and health plans can play a key role in providing that information.

Find out how or schedule a demo to learn how Cylinder can support your organization and employees.


  • For teenagers, this show handled many issues that individuals of that age group would deal
    with each day. Contests vary in age from 18 to 28, and should
    first win native competitions or compete at large earlier than qualifying for the Miss Oregon contest.
    The next is a visual abstract of the previous outcomes of Miss Oregon titleholders
    at the national Miss America pageants/competitions.
    The 12 months in parentheses indicates the yr of the nationwide competition throughout which a placement
    and/or award was garnered, not the 12 months connected to the contestant’s state title.

    Prayers for the Stolen came out in 2014 and grew to become a brand new
    York Occasions Ebook Review Editor’s Choice Guide, First Selection for
    National Reading Group Month’s Nice Group Reads, and appeared internationally on many “Greatest Books of the Yr” lists, together with The Irish Times.
    Gun Love was named one in all Time magazine’s top 10 books of 2019 and was also a brand new York Instances
    Editor’s Selection Ebook, and a National E book Award finalist, among different honors.

    She moved to the United States to complete highschool at
    Cranbrook Kingswood School, before studying English Literature and Anthropology at New York

  • free poker says:

    University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Wayne
    State University, and Indiana College, and is a four-time
    Grammy Award nominee in the perfect Album Notes category.
    Ivey presently serves as senior advisor to the
    Mike Curb Basis, as a trustee of the Washington, D.C.-based Middle for
    American Progress, and is visiting research scholar to the
    Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.
    He graduated from the University of Michigan with a level in American historical past in 1966, received a grasp’s degree in folklore and ethnomusicology from Indiana University Bloomington in 1970, and became a Ph.D.
    From 2010-2015, Open Humanities Press collaborated with the College of Michigan Library’s MPublishing department to fund the manufacturing of monographs.
    Its goal is to boost awareness of open access publishing in the humanities
    and to supply promotional and technical support to open access journals which have been invited by OHP’s editorial oversight group to hitch the collective.
    He returned to Washington in 2007 as staff chief in arts and
    humanities for the Barack Obama presidential transition. 1994 President Bill Clinton appointed Ivey
    to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
    He was the seventh chairman of the National Endowment for
    the Arts, and is a previous chairman of the Nationwide Academy of
    Recording Arts and Sciences.

Leave a Reply