Navigation Links
Experts Issue Guidelines for Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Newly released guidelines for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and a type of constipation known as chronic idiopathic constipation reveal a number of proven treatments for these two common conditions.

"There's a greater variety of approaches which reflect a greater understanding of the disorders," said guidelines co-author Dr. Eamonn Quigley, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Houston Methodist Hospital.

"We now have a better opportunity to improve the lives of our patients," Quigley said.

The guidelines are published in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

An estimated 5 percent to 15 percent of the world's population has irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, cramping and bloating, and gas. It can affect people at any age but is especially common when people are in their 20s and 30s, Quigley said.

The condition can be difficult to diagnose because other conditions share the same symptoms. Unlike other conditions, however, there's no specific diagnostic test for irritable bowel syndrome, he noted. Physicians must rely purely on symptoms to make the diagnosis.

The new guidelines, released this week by the American College of Gastroenterology, say there's evidence to support the following treatments for irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Fiber (psyllium especially when compared to bran)
  • Probiotics
  • An antibiotic called rifaximin (Rifagut)
  • Medications known as linaclotide (Linzess) and lubiprostone (Amitiza)

The irritable bowel syndrome guidelines also say that research has boosted the case for using antidepressant medications and psychological therapy.

Probiotics are a hot topic in medicine. Quigley said research supports their use, but it's not clear which ones are best. "We need more studies comparing doses and preparations, and there hasn't been a lot of that done," he said. Still, probiotics are safe and patients tolerate them well, he noted.

"In regards to specifics, patients have to talk to their doctor," Quigley said.

Dr. William Chey, a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, agreed that it's difficult to decide which probiotic product to recommend. He said one possibility is the product known as Align, which is widely available.

However, the guidelines indicate that there's not enough evidence to support the use of prebiotics (components of food that can't be digested and promote healthy bacteria) and synbiotics (products that combine probiotics and prebiotics).

As for diet, Quigley said there's some evidence that gluten-free diets and so-called "FODMAP" diets can help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. FODMAP diets cut out potentially troublesome foods, such as certain added sugars, and then reintroduce them to the diets of patients to help figure out which ones cause symptoms.

Chey said the guidelines slightly understate the value of treatments that involve changing diet since there's evidence that "diet plays a role in the development of the condition and has a role in treatment."

For patients with chronic idiopathic constipation, Quigley said, "there are a lot of relatively simple and relatively inexpensive treatments that work for constipation, and most of them are pretty safe."

Chronic idiopathic constipation is long-term constipation that doesn't have a known cause. Approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of the general population suffers from this condition.

The guidelines for chronic idiopathic constipation strongly recommend the use of fiber supplements plus laxatives such as polyethylene glycol (MiraLax), lactulose (Generlac), sodium picosulfate and bisacodyl (Dulcolax).

The guidelines also strongly recommend linaclotide (Linzess) and lubiprostone (Amitiza), which also appear in the recommendations to treat irritable bowel syndrome, and prucalopride (Resolor).

Some of these drugs are available over the counter, Quigley said. Prescription drugs are available for people with more severe cases of constipation, he said.

More information

For more about irritable bowel syndrome, try the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

SOURCES: Eamonn Quigley, M.D., chief, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, and professor of medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Houston Methodist Hospital; William Chey, M.D., gastroenterologist and professor of medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; August 2014, American Journal of Gastroenterology

Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Experts Offer Advice After Yankee Pitchers Trampoline Injury
2. NYU Langone experts present research, clinical advances at neurosurgeons meeting
3. Red Tide Likely in New England This Season, Experts Warn
4. No Proof That Gum Disease Causes Heart Disease, Experts Say
5. Leading experts on congenital muscular dystrophy convene at University of Nevada, Reno
6. Glaucoma Need Not Steal Sight, Experts Say
7. Healthy Behaviors Extend Life After Cancer, Experts Say
8. Routine Kidney Disease Screening Not Worthwhile, Experts Say
9. Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting
10. Aim Skin Cancer Warnings at the Young, Too, Experts Say
11. Experts call for clinical trials to test non-skeletal benefits of vitamin D
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Experts Issue Guidelines for Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... At Grand Dental PC, their priority ... , When you have dental problems, you need to turn to a dentist who ... and treat your needs, a friendly dentist who counsels you on the best ways ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Newly reviewed ... of Glen Ridge, NJ. He has both advanced training and considerable experience ... is also an expert in cosmetic dentistry. He is an active Spear ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ”Dying Words: The AIDS Reporting of Jeff Schmalz ... 2015, to coincide with World AIDS Day. The multi-media project will be in audio ... epidemic as he was dying of the disease. , A collaborative effort led by ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Brenntag Specialties, Inc. (BSI) has been ... Nutraceutical Specialties products into oral solid dosage in the over the counter vitamin ... pleased to announce our expanded distribution agreement with ASI.” said Steve Brauer, President ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... quality of life in the womb. "My last baby had high blood pressure due ... way for mothers to protect their babies from noise pollution as well as radio ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Nov. 30, ... has been the norm in U.S. medical ... obsolete. The increasingly popular accountable care payer-provider ... payment models and, in their wake, alter ... or quality-based payments will push forward new ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... LAKE, N.J. and SAN DIEGO ... and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ) today ... has accepted for filing the New Drug Application (NDA) ... the extended release formulation will offer patients a chronic ... ® ) is currently approved as an ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. and ST. ... Cross and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today ... benefit agreement. The partnership, which began in 1999, will ... --> --> After evaluating pharmacy ... process, Premera concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: