This illustration is one of the latest editorial pieces completed for the American Academy of Family Physicians featuring Irritable Bowel Disease.

Depicted are a montage of images illustrating common symptoms and treatment for IBD including stomach cramping, abdominal discomfort, the urge to use the bathroom, colon spasms and the use of antispasmodics such as hyoscyamine sulfate.

According to the featured article, “Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is defined as abdominal discomfort or pain associated with altered bowel habits for at least 3 days per month in the last 3 months in the absence of organic disease.  In the U.S., the prevalence of IBS is 5-10% with peak prevalence in the third and fourth decades.  Abdominal pain is the most common symptom and is often described as a cramping sensation.  The absence of abdominal pain essentially excludes IBS. Other common symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, or alternating diarrhea and constipation.  The goals of treatment are alleviation of symptoms and improvement in quality of life.  Exercise, psyllium fiber, antibiotics, antispasmodics, peppermint oil and probiotics appear to improve symptoms of IBS.  Over-the-counter laxatives and antidiarrheals may improve stool frequency but not pain.  There is conflicting evidence to support the use of antidepressants; however, psychological therapies are effective compared to usual care treatments for improvement in IBS symptoms. Lubiprostone (Amitiza™) is effective for the treatment of constipation-predominant IBS.  Alosetron (Lotronex™) and Tegaserod (Zelnorm™) are FDA-approved for patients with severe IBS symptoms who have failed conventional therapy.”


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