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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition affecting the gut that can cause a wide range of different symptoms.

It can often be difficult to diagnose as there are no scans or other tests which prove its existence. This is because the problem is with how the bowel works and there is otherwise nothing else wrong with the bowel.

Some people may be affected by diarrhoea, constipation or by intermittent bouts of both. Additionally, people commonly experience abdominal pain and bloating.

IBS is thought to affect 20% of people at some point in their lives.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

There are a range of treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Whilst not all will help for every person all will have an effect on some.

Those with mild symptoms may not need any treatments or only when symptoms are particularly bad.

A holistic approach is often needed to treat IBS. Regular exercise, stress management and dietary changes are important aspects of patient care in addition to medications. Psychological therapies can help some people manage their stress levels.

Medications are prescribed to target specific symptoms. Examples include anti-spasmodic medications for tummy pain, laxatives for constipation, antidiarrhoeal medication for diarrhoea, and peppermint oil for bloating.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate symptom control.