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Irritable Bowel Syndrome subtypes: constipation, diarrhea…and mixed bowel pattern: Tertium datur

Authors

  • F. Cremonini,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • A. Lembo

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    • Address for Correspondence

      Anthony Lembo, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

      Tel: 617-667-2138; fax: 617-667-171; e-mail: alembo@bidmc.harvard.edu

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Abstract

The study by Su et al. published in this issue of NGM provides helpful insight into a relatively large, yet understudied, subgroup of IBS known as IBS with mixed bowel pattern (IBS-M). These investigators found among their 289 IBS subjects who underwent detailed assessment the IBS-M subtype to be particularly common. Interestingly, prior use of laxatives or antidiarrheal agents was found to potentially explain the mixed bowel pattern in approximately 30% of patients. These IBS-M patients tended to report more severe IBS symptoms. IBS-M patients had bowel symptoms more similar to IBS-D than IBS-C, particularly with regard to the rectal urgency. Hopefully many more studies will be forthcoming to further our understanding of IBS-M.

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