Nursing management of irritable bowel syndrome

Coutts A1. Nurs Stand. 2019 Apr 26;34(5):76-81. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11363.


Author information

School of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing, City, University of London, London, England.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an umbrella term for a common range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, distension (bloating), diarrhoea and constipation. Nurses will often encounter patients with IBS in their day-to-day practice. As well as patients who present to healthcare services seeking assistance in managing their IBS, nurses may also encounter patients who were initially seeking assistance for other conditions, but were also found to be exhibiting symptoms of IBS. This article outlines the causes of IBS and the range of symptoms that people with IBS may experience. It details the pharmacological therapies available for IBS, and examines the range of management interventions that nurses can use to ameliorate the underlying factors that contribute to IBS.

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