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Dealing with IBS

ation. The symptom-based Rome III diagnostic criteria for IBS emphasize a positive diagnosis rather than exhaustive tests to rule out other diseases. And these criteria are based on the presentation of a specific set of symptoms in addition to a detailed history, a physical examination, and limited diagnostic tests.

Upper GI symptoms are also commonly reported by IBS patients including nausea, heartburn, satiety, abdominal fullness, dyspepsia and occasionally even feelings of urgency, and a feeling of "incomplete" emptying may also be experienced.

Non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction are also often reported. These symptoms are often due to the coexistence or overlap of IBS with conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or interstitial cystitis. Treatment is directed toward reassurance, education, achievement of a healthier lifestyle, and occasional medication. Dietary advice may include avoiding foods that can trigger symptoms. Fiber supplementation has been shown to be effective for symptoms of constipation.

Pharmacologic (drug) therapy is best used in IBS patients with moderate to severe symptoms refractory to physician counseling and dietary manipulations. New therapies for IBS have been recently introduced and have been shown to effectively treat multiple symptoms of IBS.


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