Updated: 12/28/2015

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Review Topic
  • An idiopathic colonic motility disorder characterized by 
    • abdominal pain
    • irregular bowel habits
  • Patients most often present in teens and 20s
  • More commonly seen in females
    • often with a history of domestic or sexual abuse
  • 50% of patients have comorbid psychiatric disorders
  • Diagnosis of exclusion
  • Symptoms
    • abdominal pain
    • alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Phyical exam
    • usually unremarkable except for mild abdominal tenderness
    • abdominal distention
  • Normal colonoscopy
  • Lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic treatment
    • high fiber, low fat diet
    • eliminate irritating foods (e.g. coffee and dairy)
    • antidiarrheal (loperamide) medications
    • antispasmodics (dicyclomine, hyoscyamine, papaverine, peppermint oil)

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