Irritable bowel syndrome: diagnosis and symptom management

Br J Community Nurs. 2005 Mar;10(3):118-22. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2005.10.3.17614.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common problem affecting 10% of the population at some time. Its cause and pathogenesis, however, remain poorly understood. Diagnosis is usually straightforward and detailed investigations are only required when the presentation is atypical. Treating IBS is always a challenge. The concerns and expectations of the patient must be met, along with any associated psychosocial issues. Medication on its own without addressing all of these issues is usually unsuccessful.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Community Health Nursing / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / nursing*
  • Male
  • Nursing Assessment / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods