Plenty of treatment options for irritable bowel syndrome, but diagnosis is crucial

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic gastrointestinal condition that affects about 9% of Australians. However, according to an article in the latest issue of Australian Prescriber, only a minority of people who have it consult their GP.

Author Dr Chamara Basnayake, a gastroenterologist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, says: “Irritable bowel syndrome can result in significant disability, reduced quality of life and impaired workforce productivity. The symptoms may include recurrent diarrhoea, constipation or abdominal pain during bowel movements.

“The syndrome can be associated with intolerance to particular foods, hypersensitivity to pain, and anxiety or stress.”

Dr Basnayake explores the dietary and lifestyle changes, medicines, and the psychological and physical therapies that can help relieve symptoms. Even hypnotherapy may have a role.

Read the full article.



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Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals. It is published by NPS MedicineWise, an independent, not-for-profit organisation for quality use of medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. Australian Prescriber is published every two months and is available online at