A systematic review of alternative therapies in the irritable bowel syndrome

Jennifer A. Spanier, Colin Howden, Michael P. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

121 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder associated with a significant burden of illness, poor quality of life, high rates of absenteeism, and high health care utilization. Management can be difficult and treatment unrewarding; these facts have led physicians and patients toward alternative therapies. We explored a variety of treatments that exist beyond the scope of commonly used therapies for irritable bowel syndrome. Guarded optimism exists for traditional Chinese medicine and psychological therapies, but further well-designed trials are needed. Oral cromolyn sodium may be useful in chronic unexplained diarrhea and appears as effective as and safer than elimination diets. The roles of lactose and fructose intolerance remain poorly understood. Alterations of enteric flora may play a role in irritable bowel syndrome, but supporting evidence for bacterial overgrowth or probiotic therapy is lacking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Volume163
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2003

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Complementary Therapies
Fructose Intolerance
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Lactose Intolerance
Therapeutics
Cromolyn Sodium
Absenteeism
Cost of Illness
Chinese Traditional Medicine
Probiotics
Diarrhea
Quality of Life
Psychology
Diet
Physicians

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

A systematic review of alternative therapies in the irritable bowel syndrome. / Spanier, Jennifer A.; Howden, Colin; Jones, Michael P.

In: Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 163, No. 3, 10.02.2003, p. 265-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Spanier, Jennifer A. ; Howden, Colin ; Jones, Michael P. / A systematic review of alternative therapies in the irritable bowel syndrome. In: Archives of Internal Medicine. 2003 ; Vol. 163, No. 3. pp. 265-274.
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