The irritable bowel syndrome. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an extremely common disorder. It is believed to occur usually after emotional stress and perhaps because of behavioural and dietary factors. There is definite evidence of disturbed gastrointestinal function associated with IBS; however, a diagnostic marker remains elusive. The current trend is to diagnose IBS on the basis of the patient's history and the findings at physical examination and after minimal investigation. The physician-patient relationship remains the most important factor in the management of IBS. Long-term benefit may be achieved with the use of dietary fibre supplements or stool-bulking agents. The evaluation of currently available drugs is difficult because of the placebo effect. Drug therapy should be aimed at specific symptoms and used mainly during the initial phase of treatment.

publication date

  • February 15, 1988

published in