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:6/26/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel ... Cut Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong ... Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ... to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to ... the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it ... excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment ... potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing number ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released ... failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug ... only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: