Management of irritable bowel syndrome.

Published

Journal Article (Review)

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract and is frequently treated by family physicians. Despite patients' worries about the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, it is a benign condition. The diagnosis should be made using standard criteria after red flags that may signify organic disease have been ruled out. An effective physician-patient relationship is vital to successful management. Episodes of diarrhea are best managed with loperamide, while constipation often will respond to fiber supplements. Antispasmodics or anticholinergic agents may help relieve the abdominal pain of irritable bowel syndrome. Refractory cases are often treated with tricyclic antidepressants. Newer agents such as tegaserod and ondansetron target neurotransmitter receptors in the gastrointestinal tract Some forms of psychologic treatment may be helpful, and gastroenterology consultation is occasionally needed to reassure the patient. Comorbid conditions such as depression or anxiety should be investigated and treated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Viera, AJ; Hoag, S; Shaughnessy, J

Published Date

  • November 15, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 66 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1867 - 1874

PubMed ID

  • 12469960

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12469960

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-838X

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States