Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Updated recommendations from the American College of Gastroenterology

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 20 percent of U.S. adults.  Although it doesn’t actually harm the intestines, it can wreak havoc on the sufferer with any combination of abdominal bloating, cramping, diarrhea and constipation.  In a recent post I reported a study showing that the old standby treatments of fiber, peppermint oil and antispasmotics still work for most people.

The American College of Gastroenterologists has released updated treatment recommendations, as reported by the University of Michigan. New recommendations of note are:

Anyone with IBS probably has already discovered foods that can make the symptoms worse.  These can include gas-producing food, carbonated drinks, milk (due to lactose sugar intolerance), and other sugars such as fructose and sorbitol.

Has anyone found these things helpful, harmful?  Other tips?

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4 Responses to “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Updated recommendations from the American College of Gastroenterology”

  1. cathy Says:

    Interesting about the antidepressants. We have IBS in my family. Taking a probiotic every other day seems to help a lot – though now I’ll have to check to see if it has that specific strain of bacteria in it. Passing this article along…

  2. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Thanks Cathy,
    They did mention that specific strain.
    Thanks for passing it on.

  3. Jolene Says:

    So nice to know that the GI docs will be testing more for celiac disease. I think it is more common than people (doctors) think. Most people don’t realize wheat/gluten is causing so many GI symptoms. Instead they spend an average of 11 years going from doctor to doctor with vague GI symptoms (a statistic I recently heard)before they are finally diagnosed with celiac disease.

    I think wheat and dairy can be big contributors to IBS and people can notice dramatic and quick improvements once they eliminate these foods.

  4. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Thanks Jolene, and it is a simple blood test.

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