Background/aims: There has been major progress in our understanding of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and novel treatment classes have emerged. The Rome IV guidelines were published in 2016 and together with the growing body of Asian data on IBS, we felt it is timely to update the Asian IBS Consensus.
Methods: Key opinion leaders from Asian countries were organized into 4 teams to review 4 themes: symptoms and epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and investigations, and lifestyle modifications and treatments. The consensus development process was carried out by using a modified Delphi method.
Results: Thirty-seven statements were developed. Asian data substantiate the current global viewpoint that IBS is a disorder of gut-brain interaction. Socio-cultural and environmental factors in Asia appear to influence the greater overlap between IBS and upper gastrointestinal symptoms. New classes of treatments comprising low fermentable oligo-, di-, monosacharides, and polyols diet, probiotics, non-absorbable antibiotics, and secretagogues have good evidence base for their efficacy.
Conclusions: Our consensus is that all patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders should be evaluated comprehensively with a view to holistic management. Physicians should be encouraged to take a positive attitude to the treatment outcomes for IBS patients.
Keywords: Asia; Constipation; Diarrhea; Intestines; Irritable bowel syndrome.