Pediatric irritable bowel syndrome and other functional abdominal pain disorders: an update of non-pharmacological treatments

Gupta S1, Schaffer G2, Saps M3. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 May;12(5):447-456. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2018.1462699. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Author information

1 a Department of Pediatrics , Nationwide Children's Hospital , Columbus , Ohio , USA.

2 b Cancer Wellnes Center , Northbrook , Illinois , USA.

3 c Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition , University of Miami Miller School of Medicine , Miami , Florida , USA.


Functional abdominal pain disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, are common in children and treatment can often be difficult. Pharmacological therapies and complementary treatments are widely used, despite the limited data in pediatrics. Areas covered: This review provides an overview of the available data for the use of diet, probiotics, percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and psychosocial interventions, including hypnotherapy, yoga, cognitive and behavioral therapy, and mind-body interventions for the treatment of functional abdominal pain disorders in children. The literature review included a PubMed search by each therapy, children, abdominal pain, and irritable bowel syndrome. Relevant articles to this review are discussed. Expert commentary: The decision on the use of pharmacological and complementary therapies should be based on clinical findings, evidence, availability, and in-depth discussion with the patient and family. The physician should provide education on the different interventions and their role on the treatment in an empathetic and warm manner providing ample time for the family to ask questions.

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