Increased knowledge regarding the implications of gut microbiota in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) suggests that a disturbed intestinal microenvironment (dysbiosis) might promote the development and maintenance of IBS symptoms and affects several pathways in the pathology of this multifactorial disease. Accordingly, manipulation of the gut microbiota in order to improve IBS symptoms has evolved as a novel treatment strategy in the last decade. Several different approaches have been investigated in order to improve the gut microbiota composition. Dietary modifications including supplementation with fibers, prebiotics, and probiotics are shown to improve symptoms and composition of gut microbiota in IBS; however, the exact probiotic mixture beneficial for each individual remains to be identified. The use of antibiotics still needs confirmation, although promising results have been reported with use of rifaximin. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has recently gained a lot of attention, and several placebo-controlled trials investigating FMT obtain promising results regarding symptom reduction and gut microbiota manipulation in IBS. However, more data regarding long-term effects are needed before FMT can be integrated as a customized treatment for IBS in the clinical routine.
Keywords: Dysbiosis; FODMAPs; antibiotics; fecal microbiota transplantation; gut microbiota manipulation; probiotics.
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