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Hallway Pearls: Advances in the management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Millions of people worldwide are affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a chronic gastrointestinal disorder. In a recent webinar, Dr. Geoff Williams, a Gastroenterologist, reviewed the presentation of IBS, its diagnosis, and treatment approaches. Physicians are encouraged to watch the full webinar to gain a better understanding of IBS and learn how to manage symptoms in their patients. In the meantime - Here is a short video showcasing the clinical pearls from the webinar.

Symptoms of IBS

The most common and distressing symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain and bloating. However, other symptoms may include constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of both. These symptoms can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stress, certain foods, and hormonal changes.

Diagnosis of IBS

Diagnostic testing in patients with suspected IBS will include a CBC. In people who have ALARM features for potential colorectal cancer, an investigation to rule out this diagnosis is required. Further tests are available, depending on the subtype of IBS.

Useful diagnosis charts
Diagnosis and management algorithm

Treatment of IBS

Treatment for IBS varies by type of IBS presentation, but includes non-pharmacologic methods such as exercise, diet changes, and potentially psychological therapy. Medication options include antidepressants, sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 inhibitors, guanylate cyclase c agonists, antibiotics targeting the gut biome, opioid receptor modulators, and probiotics. Dr. WIlliams reviews which clinical presentations warrant these trials of these treatments.

Key points for treatment


The takeaway from Dr. Williams’ webinar is that IBS is a common but complex disorder that needs to be taken seriously. Treatment should be tailored to the individual and may involve dietary changes, exercise, and medication, and the optimal treatment depends on the patient's clinical presentation. Watch the full lecture to get details on how to optimize treatment for your patients.

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