Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by abdominal pain associated with altered bowel function, in the absence of biochemical or anatomic abnormalities. The condition results from a complicated interplay between visceral hypersensitivity, motor dysfunction, luminal gut irritation, post-infectious changes, psychosocial issues and probably multiple other inciting or aggravating factors not yet identified. In the absence of a definitive diagnostic test, making a diagnosis and managing patients can prove to be challenging. Making a "positive" diagnosis in the absence of specific tests best enables the physician and patient to actively and continuously work on a strategy for symptom improvement. The frustration felt by both patient and physician until the diagnosis is firm and while attempting to treat symptoms is well appreciated by all practicing gastroenterologists. This article delves into some of the proposed pathophysiologic mechanisms; proposes guidelines to make a diagnosis; and reviews some updated treatment regimens for control of IBS symptoms.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||27|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2007|
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