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Management of irritable bowel syndrome
  1. M C Gunn,
  2. A A Cavin,
  3. J C Mansfield
  1. Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr John Mansfield, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP; UK; 


The diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is made on clinical grounds with appropriate limited investigations to exclude organic disease. IBS is common and may have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life. Psychological symptoms are common. IBS may benefit from pharmacological and non-pharmacological management. Specific measures should be directed towards the dominant symptoms of constipation or diarrhoea. Several new drugs are currently under evaluation and may prove valuable for subgroups of patients with IBS. Successful management requires a combination of reassurance and explanation about the natural history of the condition.

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • functional bowel disease
  • psychosocial
  • fibre
  • 5-HT3, serotonin-3
  • 5-HT4, serotonin-4
  • IBS, irritable bowel syndrome
  • SSRI, specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors
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