Irritable bowel syndrome: Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment: An update for health-care practitioners
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2010
© 2010 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 691–699, April 2010
How to Cite
Grundmann, O. and Yoon, S. L. (2010), Irritable bowel syndrome: Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment: An update for health-care practitioners. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 25: 691–699. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06120.x
- Issue published online: 25 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2010
- Accepted for publication 2 September 2009.
- functional bowel disorders;
- inflammatory bowel disease;
- irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic gastrointestinal disorder, affects from 3–20% of the US population, depending on sociocultural and comorbid factors. IBS is characterized by a symptom complex of abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits that present as diarrhea or constipation, and general physical weakness in the absence of abnormal morphological, histological or inflammatory markers. The main diagnostic Rome III criteria as established by international professional organizations are based on exclusion criteria and the occurrence and rate of symptoms. Because the pathophysiology and causes of IBS are poorly understood, treatment approaches are mainly focused on symptom management to maintain everyday functioning and improve quality of life for persons with IBS. The mainstay of intervention is pharmacological treatment with antispasmodics and antidiarrheals for diarrhea, prokinetics and high-fiber diets for constipation, and supportive therapy with low-dose antidepressants to normalize gastrointestinal motility. Other interventions include lifestyle and dietary changes, psychotherapy, herbal therapies and acupuncture. The purpose of this review is to critically assess benefits and risks of current treatment approaches as well as promising complementary and alternative therapies.