Curbside Consultation in IBS: 49 Clinical Questions

Brian E. Lacy, PhD, MD

Question 18: How Does an Infection Cause IBS? (continued)

Kok-Ann Gwee, FRCP, PhD

In as many as 25% of all irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients, an episode of infectious diarrhea may precede the onset of persistent bowel disturbances. In these patients with post infectious IBS (PI- IBS), symptoms usually take the form of recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhea. The risk of developing IBS after a prior infection ranged from 4% in the community to 26% in patients with a severe infection requiring hospitalization. Bacterial infections with Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella were most consistently implicated. It appears that PI- IBS arises from the convergence of…