Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is part of a spectrum of diseases known as Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders which are characterized by chronic or recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms for which no structural or biochemical cause can be found.
IBS is relatively common affecting approximately 15% of persons in the United States (25-55 million) and occuring in men and women of all ages and races.
The cause of IBS is not known and there is no true "cure". Research has demonstrated that persons with IBS have certain characteristic responses within their colons.
While there is no cure for IBS, a multi-pronged approach can help to control symptoms and provide relief. Dietary alterations can help to reduce the occurrence of symptoms brought on by certain foods identified as triggers. Medications are usually not required, but when used are targeted at reducing specific symptoms (diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain) experienced by the person.
Attention must also be paid to the psychological triggers that are known to play a significant role in the provocation of symptoms. In children, IBS is treated mainly through changes in diet.
The Medifocus Guide on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of IBS?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing IBS?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of IBS?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of IBS?
What treatment options are available for the management of IBS?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in IBS?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for IBS?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about IBS?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome. Nutrition. 2000
Pharmacologic treatment of the irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2000
Alosetron. Drugs. 2000
Towards an integrative model of irritable bowel syndrome. Progress in Brain Research. 2000
Gender role and irritable bowel syndrome: literature review and hypothesis. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2000
Recommendations for the management of irritable bowel syndrome in family practice. IBS Consensus Conference Participants. CMAJ. 1999
Review article: clinical evidence to support current therapies of irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 1999
Review article: the therapeutic potential of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 1999
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