Complementary and alternative medicine for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence supporting selected complementary and alternative medicine approaches used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: MEDLINE (from January 1966), EMBASE (from January 1980), and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched until March 2008, combining the terms irritable bowel syndrome or irritable colon with complementary therapies, alternative medicine, acupuncture, fiber, peppermint oil, herbal, traditional, yoga, massage, meditation, mind, relaxation, probiotic, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, or behavior therapy. Results were screened to include only clinical trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Level I evidence was available for most interventions. MAIN MESSAGE: Soluble fibre improves constipation and global IBS symptoms. Peppermint oil alleviates IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain. Probiotic trials show overall benefit for IBS but there is little evidence supporting the use of any specific strain. Hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy are also effective therapeutic options for appropriate patients. Certain herbal formulas are supported by limited evidence, but safety is a potential concern. All interventions are supported by systematic reviews or meta-analyses. CONCLUSION: Several complementary and alternative therapies can be recommended as part of an evidence-based approach to the treatment of IBS; these might provide patients with satisfactory relief and improve the therapeutic alliance.

Author(s): 
Shen, Yi-Hao A.
Nahas, Richard
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
Canadian Family Physician Medecin De Famille Canadien
Journal Abbreviation: 
Can Fam Physician
Publication Date: 
2009-02
Publication Year: 
2009
Pages: 
143-148
Volume: 
55
Issue: 
2
ISSN: 
1715-5258
Library Catalog: 
PubMed
Extra: 
PMID: 19221071 PMCID: PMC2642499

Turabian/Chicago Citation

Yi-Hao A. Shen and Richard Nahas. 2009-02. "Complementary and alternative medicine for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome." Canadian Family Physician Medecin De Famille Canadien 55: 2: 143-148.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = | issn = 1715-5258 | volume = 55 | pages = 143-148 | last = Shen | first = Yi-Hao A. | coauthors = Nahas, Richard | title = Complementary and alternative medicine for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome | journal = Canadian Family Physician Medecin De Famille Canadien | date = 2009-02 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>