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Management of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) disorder affects the functions of gastrointestinal symptoms and displays chronic abdominal symptoms and can be diagnosed clinically (Ford et al., 2018). IBS has a prevalence of about 10%-20% and an incidence rate of approximately 1%-2% per year. IBS affects around 11 percent of the global population. Internationally, there is a female predominance in the prevalence of IBS. The treatment goals for IBS are to relieve the patient from symptoms such as diarrhea, discomfort, bloating, and constipation and consequently improve the quality of life. Individuals with IBS can suffer many disease processes that result in pain and diarrhea or pain and constipation, and therefore, its treatment is often done differently among individual patients with priority given to the most serious symptom that is felt by the patient instead of modifying the disease.

The first-line drug therapy for IBS include Antispasmodics such as dicyclomine, hyoscyamine although they don’t have many benefits for IBS treatment although they may relieve abdominal pains or discomforts, especially for those symptoms that happen after eating. Anti-diarrheal agents such as loperamide, diphenoxylate can effectively prevent and relieve symptoms of diarrhea but may not help in pain. Laxatives that are helpful in treating symptoms of constipation but doesn’t work in controlling pain. Anti-anxiety drugs help IBS patients fight psychological distress. Incorporating stress management through counseling and apply dietary modification such as a low FODMAP diet when applying the first-line drugs is more helpful (Moayyedi et al., 2019). The second line of drug therapy implies the use of Amitriptyline, which can help in relieving pain and adjust the bowel activity even though it affects the mood of IBS patients (Moayyedi et al., 2019). However, Amitriptyline should only be introduced when the first line of drugs fails to treat the patient.


Ford, A. C., Moayyedi, P., Chey, W. D., Harris, L. A., Lacy, B. E., Saito, Y. A., & Quigley, E. M. (2018). American College of Gastroenterology monograph on the management of irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 113, 1-18.

Moayyedi, P., Andrews, C. N., MacQueen, G., Korownyk, C., Marsiglio, M., Graff, L., … & Sidani, S. (2019). Canadian Association of Gastroenterology clinical practice guidelines for the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Journal of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, 2(1), 6-29.

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