Pediatric Annals

CME Article 

Treatment Approaches to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Manu R. Sood, MD

Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic recurring disorder with a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, altered bowel habits, bloating, fecal urgency, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation. Only a minority of patients with IBS seek medical attention, often presenting to the primary care physician while symptoms are still evolving. The biopsychosocial model of treatment not only aims to alleviate the illness symptoms but also identifies and remedies the psychological comorbidities and social factors that contribute to illness behavior. Many patients with a mild illness can be managed in the primary care setting. However, those with chronic, severe, frequently relapsing, and disabling illness usually are referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist. The reason for referral is to exclude organic disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, which can mimic IBS symptoms, and also for management of symptoms that can have a negative impact on quality of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Manu R. Sood, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin; and Director of GI Motility, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Address correspondence to: Manu R. Sood, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI; e-mail: Msood@mcw.edu.

Dr. Sood has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic recurring disorder with a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, altered bowel habits, bloating, fecal urgency, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation. Only a minority of patients with IBS seek medical attention, often presenting to the primary care physician while symptoms are still evolving. The biopsychosocial model of treatment not only aims to alleviate the illness symptoms but also identifies and remedies the psychological comorbidities and social factors that contribute to illness behavior. Many patients with a mild illness can be managed in the primary care setting. However, those with chronic, severe, frequently relapsing, and disabling illness usually are referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist. The reason for referral is to exclude organic disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, which can mimic IBS symptoms, and also for management of symptoms that can have a negative impact on quality of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Manu R. Sood, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin; and Director of GI Motility, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Address correspondence to: Manu R. Sood, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI; e-mail: Msood@mcw.edu.

Dr. Sood has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic recurring disorder with a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, altered bowel habits, bloating, fecal urgency, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation. Only a minority of patients with IBS seek medical attention, often presenting to the primary care physician while symptoms are still evolving. The biopsychosocial model of treatment not only aims to alleviate the illness symptoms but also identifies and remedies the psychological comorbidities and social factors that contribute to illness behavior. Many patients with a mild illness can be managed in the primary care setting. However, those with chronic, severe, frequently relapsing, and disabling illness usually are referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist. The reason for referral is to exclude organic disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, which can mimic IBS symptoms, and also for management of symptoms that can have a negative impact on quality of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Manu R. Sood, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin; and Director of GI Motility, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Address correspondence to: Manu R. Sood, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI; e-mail: Msood@mcw.edu.

Dr. Sood has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

10.3928/00904481-20090501-08

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