Advances in Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Constipation

Anne Peery, MD


July 21, 2022

Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) is a common condition characterized by recurrent abdominal pain and infrequent or hard stool. IBS-C significantly affects quality of life, but according to Dr Anne Peery of the University of North Carolina, recent advances in diagnosis and treatment can offer symptom relief and improved outcomes for many patients.

Effective treatment begins with educating the patient on their diagnosis, identifying triggers, recommending lifestyle changes, and a range of dietary alterations. Patients who do not respond to those measures may benefit from over-the-counter polyethylene glycol laxatives. Medical therapy now includes a broad range of secretagogues, which, through varied mechanisms of action, increase fluid secretion into the colon to help patients achieve more regular, complete bowel movements.

In addition, low-dose tricyclic antidepressants have been found to significantly improve patients' abdominal pain, as have a range of antispasmodic therapies.

Dr Peery also mentions the recent publication of rigorous guidelines by the American Gastroenterological Association as a helpful resource for treating patients with IBS-C.


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