Irritable bowel syndrome - less irritable, or better treatments?

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2024 Jan 1;40(1):27-33.doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000987. Epub 2023 Oct 19.


Paul Travers 1Brian E Lacy 2David J Cangemi 2


Author information

1Department of Internal Medicine.

2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.


Purpose of review: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, often bothersome disorder of gut-brain interaction (DGBI) characterized by abdominal pain associated with a change in stool frequency and/or caliber. Recent advancements have improved our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, thus opening new avenues for therapeutic intervention. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current literature regarding treatment modalities for IBS.

Recent findings: Altering the gut microbiome via probiotic and antibiotic administration, avoiding dietary triggers, and modulating the gut-brain axis have all proven efficacious for the management of IBS symptoms. Several gut-specific pharmacotherapies are approved for the treatment of IBS, many of which primarily address either diarrhea or constipation, although many patients remain symptomatic despite appropriate use. Brain-gut behavioral therapies (BGBTs) are increasingly used to treat symptoms of IBS, particularly in those who do not respond to traditional therapies. Virtual reality represents an exciting new approach to treating DGBIs, like IBS, though data are limited.

Summary: As our understanding of IBS continues to evolve, so should our therapeutic approach. Individualizing the therapeutic approach is of utmost importance.

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