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Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(Functional Colitis; IBS; Intestinal Neurosis; Irritable Colon; Laxative Colitis; Mucous Colitis; Nervous Indigestion; Spastic Colon)
- Sex: female
- Family members with IBS
- Age: typically begins in young adulthood
- Generalized anxiety disorder (associated with IBS)
- Abuse (may be associated with IBS)
- Abdominal cramps
- Gas and bloating
- Pain that resolves with a bowel movement
- Loose stools
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
- Urge to move bowels again immediately following a bowel movement
- Mucus in the stool
- Menstrual periods
- Large meals or fatty foods
- Excess gas
- Analysis of a stool sample to check for blood or evidence of inflammation
- Blood tests
- Barium enema —injection of fluid into the rectum to make the colon show up on an x-ray , allows the doctor to see abnormal spots in the colon
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy —a thin, lighted tube inserted into the rectum to examine the rectum and the lower colon
- Colonoscopy —a thin, lighted tube inserted through the rectum and into the colon to examine the lining of the entire colon
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- Keep a food diary of what you eat and how your body responds. Share this with your doctor. You may have a food allergy.
- Make gradual changes to your diet. Record the results.
- Avoid foods that have caused problems in the past. A dietitian can help you substitute foods.
- Avoid foods and drinks that may cause symptoms:
- Eat foods that may reduce the chance of spasm, such as:
- Eat smaller meals more often or smaller portions.
- Eat slowly and try not to swallow air.
- Drink plenty of water. This will help to reduce constipation.
- Antispasmodic agent (such as dicyclomine, alverine citrate)
- Antibiotics (rifaximin [Xifaxan])
- High-fiber bulking agent (psyllium)
- Antiflatulent (simethicone)
- Antidiarrheal agent (loperamide)
- Low-dose antidepressant
- Pain reliever (acetaminophen)—may help with crampy abdominal pain
- Serotonin receptor agonists and antagonists (also called 5-HT3 antagonists)—may be helpful for treating diarrhea, as well as treating other IBS symptoms, like abdominal pain in women (alosetron)
- Probiotics ("friendly" bacteria)—may be helpful, but talk to your doctor before taking
- Peppermint oil
American College of Gastroenterology http://gi.org
American Gastroenterological Association http://www.gastro.org
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Association http://www.ibsgroup.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
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Irritable bowel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated December 2008. Accessed January 6, 2009.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated July 2008. Accessed July 7, 2008.
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9/26/2006 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Mueller-Lissner S, Tytgat GN, et al. Placebo-and paracetamol-controlled study on the efficacy and tolerability of hyoscine butylbromide in the treatment of patients with recurrent crampy abdominal pain. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2006;23:1741-1748.
4/10/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: US Food and Drug Administration. FDA announces discontinued marketing of GI drug, Zelnorm, for safety reasons [press release]. March 30, 2007. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2007/ucm108879.htm.
1/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Ford AC, Talley NJ, et al. Effect of fibre, antispasmodics, and peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ . 2008;337:a2313.
10/9/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Lee S, Wu J, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome is strongly associated with generalized anxiety disorder: a community study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009;30(6):643.
11/4/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Ford AC, Brandt LJ, et al. Efficacy of 5-HT3 antagonists and 5-HT4 agonists in irritable bowel syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104(7):1831-1843.
1/11/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Wittmann T, Paradowski L, et al. Clinical trial: efficacy of alverine citrate/simeticone combination on abdominal pain/discomfort in irritable bowel syndrome: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Dec 10. [Epub ahead of print]
7/16/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Dorn SD. Systematic review: self-management support interventions for irritable bowel syndrome. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 May 22. [Epub ahead of print]
1/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Pimentel M, Lembo A, et al. Rifaximin therapy for patients with irritable bowel syndrome without constipation. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(1):22-32.
4/22/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Johannesson E, Simrén M, et al. Physical activity improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan 4. [Epub ahead of print]
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 01/15/2013