Managing and Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Can IBS be cured?
How is IBS managed? Can I lead a normal life?
What role does diet play in managing IBS?
What role does diet play in managing IBS?
A nutrition plan for IBS
A nutrition plan for IBS
Eating with IBS
Stomach issues with IBS
Trying IBS treatments
Prescription medications for IBS
Investigational treatments for IBS
Clinical trials for IBS
Improving your quality of life
Finding more information on IBS

Managing and Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

*Please note: This slide show is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Can IBS be cured?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is usually a long-term condition. For some people, symptoms may last many years or a lifetime.1 However, IBS may go away on its own or become less active.

IBS treatment can significantly improve symptoms and quality of life.2

How is IBS managed? Can I lead a normal life?

IBS is managed with a combination of diet, medications, and other treatments.

Each person's IBS is different, so your treatment should be personalized to you and your symptoms.

What role does diet play in managing IBS?

What you eat and drink can be an important part of managing IBS. However, no single nutrition plan works for everyone.3

What role does diet play in managing IBS?

Talk with your healthcare provider about foods that seem to trigger IBS attacks. You can also keep a diary for 2 or 3 weeks to track symptoms.

Ask your healthcare provider before trying any specific nutrition plan, especially if it promises to cure IBS.

A nutrition plan for IBS

A nutrition plan for IBS can help. It is best to work with a registered dietitian who can personalize your nutrition plan to reduce IBS attacks. Visit the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders' website for a listing of dietitians.

A nutrition plan for IBS

A nutrition plan may include trying a low-FODMAP diet to reduce how much of certain carbohydrates you eat.

Nine out of 10 people with IBS avoid foods or drinks to reduce symptoms. However, this can lead to missing important nutrients. A plan guided by a registered dietitian is a safer option.3

*FODMAP: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols

Eating with IBS

When you have IBS, simply eating may sometimes trigger an attack, regardless of the specific food.4

Eating 5 or 6 small meals rather than 3 big meals a day, taking your time, and eating in a relaxed environment may help.

Stomach issues with IBS

Bloating is a common symptom of IBS. Eating several small meals, trying a low-FODMAP plan, and avoiding gas-causing foods may help.5

Feeling full quickly may be part of IBS, but talk to your healthcare provider. It could also be a sign of other conditions.6

Trying IBS treatments

Work with your healthcare provider to develop the best treatment plan, and speak with them before trying fiber or supplements such as peppermint oil. Surgery is not usually done to treat IBS.

Prescription medications for IBS

There are several prescription-only medications approved for IBS. In addition, several medications are commonly used off-label. This means they were developed for other conditions but have been found to help with IBS.

Investigational treatments for IBS

Right now, more than 20 new treatments are being studied for IBS.8 Ask your healthcare provider to help you stay updated on treatment options as they become available.

Clinical trials for IBS

Clinical trials are research studies of new treatments and tests. There are many available for IBS, from diets to medication and much more.

Visit the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders' website for a listing of IBS clinical trials.

Improving your quality of life

Keeping a symptom diary can help you pinpoint your worst symptoms and IBS triggers and talk to your healthcare provider about them. You can get a complimentary diary template on the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders website.

Living with IBS is stressful, but reducing stress and treating an underlying mood disorder may help reduce IBS symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy have been shown to help.

Finding more information on IBS

To learn more about IBS, use reliable sources like the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders' IBS patient website.

References

  1. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. What is IBS? Available at https://aboutibs.org/what-is-ibs. Accessed March 21, 2023.
  2. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. Treatment. Available at https://aboutibs.org/treatment. Accessed March 21, 2023.
  3. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. IBS diet. Available at https://aboutibs.org/treatment/ibs-diet. Accessed March 21, 2023.
  4. Algera J, Colomier E, Simrén M. The dietary management of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: A narrative review of the existing and emerging evidence. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 9;11(9):2162. doi: 10.3390/nu11092162. PMID: 31505870; PMCID: PMC6770052.
  5. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. IBS diet: What to do and what to avoid. Available at https://aboutibs.org/treatment/ibs-diet/ibs-diet-what-to-do-and-what-to-avoid. Accessed March 21, 2023.
  6. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. Nausea and IBS. Available at https://aboutibs.org/signs-and-symptoms/recognizing-symptoms/nausea-and-ibs. Accessed March 21, 2023.
  7. Brandt LJ, Chey WD, Foxx-Orenstein AE, et al, for the American College of Gastroenterology Task Force on Irritable Bowel Syndrome. An evidence-based position statement on the management of irritable bowel syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Jan. 104 suppl 1:S1-35.
  8. Globe Newswire. Irritable bowel syndrome pipeline booms as 24+ new therapies likely to enter in the treatment domain. Available at https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/01/18/2591243/0/en/Irritable-Bowel-Syndrome-Pipeline-Booms-as-24-Therapies-Likely-to-Enter-in-the-Treatment-Domain-DelveInsight.html. Accessed March 22, 2023.

Slide Show - Managing and Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This slide show provides an overview of what you can do to manage and treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is managed with a combination of diet, medications, and other treatments. You can learn about the importance of working with a registered dietician to develop a personalized nutrition plan to reduce IBS attacks. A nutrition plan may include trying a low-FODMAP diet. You can also learn about IBS treatments such as fiber, supplements, peppermint oil, prescription-only medications, and investigational treatments being studied in clinical trials. Cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy have been shown to help. Each person's IBS is different, so your treatment should be personalized to you and your symptoms.

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This educational activity has been developed by the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders and Mechanisms in Medicine Inc.

This activity is supported by independent educational grants from AbbVie, Ardelyx, and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.

This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc., to provide highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their healthcare professionals for optimal outcomes.