Irritable bowel syndrome: current approach to symptoms, evaluation, and treatment

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2007 Sep;36(3):665-85, x. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2007.07.002.


There are frequent advances in knowledge about the clinical presentation, pathophysiology, and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. It is important for clinicians to be aware of available therapies and the supporting evidence for those therapies to increase patient satisfaction. This is best achieved with a collaborative and long-term clinician-patient relationship and mutual commitment to modify therapy and try new modalities until the greatest relief of symptoms and improvement in health-related quality of life is achieved. This article reviews symptoms, comorbidities, gender differences, and measure of severity in irritable bowel syndrome and current and evidence-based approaches to evaluation and treatment, and the new symptom-based Rome III diagnostic criteria are reviewed and explained.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antidiarrheals / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / therapy
  • Laxatives / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Biomarkers
  • Laxatives