Irritable Bowel Syndrome: News from an
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal
(GI) disorder, which can affect all members of a society, regardlessof age, sex, race or socioeconomic status. Because of its high prevalence and chronic nature, it represents a significant
economic burden. In fact, these patients have a relevant impairment of their quality of life, which limits their work
productivity and daily social activities, especially when it is associated with other disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
The diagnosis of IBS relies on symptom-based diagnostic
criteria with normal results on a limited number of complementary
tests that rule out other possible diagnoses.The aetiology of this condition is incompletely established. However, evidence suggests that it is a multifactorial disorder with several different mechanisms that have been implicated as responsible for the symptoms. Since the treatment strategy
is usually based on predominant symptoms and their
severity, it is important to recognise the underlying mechanisms
in order to successfully relief the visceral pain and altered bowel
habits. The aim of this non-systematic review of the literature was to explore the pathophysiology and treatment options of IBS, highlighting the most recent
from the new Rome IV criteria to the new drug armamentarium.
© 2019 Sociedade Portuguesa de Gastrenterologia
Published by S. Karger AG, Basel
Although IBS is an old disease with a humble clinical
diagnosis, and largely considered a functional bowel disorder,
efforts in identifying the different pathophysiological mechanisms involved in symptom generation have allowed the development of new symptom-based and target therapies, wishfully devoided of side effects and inexpensive. Hopefully, these new insights will
bring a better quality of life to the patients as they contribute to a new understanding of this syndrome.
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