Diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome in general practice
InnovAiT, 1, (9), . (doi:10.1093/innovait/inn061).
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the commonest causes of gastrointestinal (GI) consultations in primary and secondary care—it accounts for approximately 3% of all GP consultations. IBS has a prevalence of between 10% and 20%; however, most people (75%) never consult a GP. It is a relapsing and remitting condition and those who do present to general practice have a wide range of symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, change in bowel habit, fatigue, nausea, backache and bladder symptoms. IBS symptoms can be distressing, leading to time off work, reduced social functioning and a reduced quality of life. This article will outline the key aspects of diagnosing and managing IBS in general practice including highlighting the new NICE guidelines for the diagnosis and management of IBS in adults (published February 2008).
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