Irritable bowel syndrome: alternative therapeutic management

Authors A. Forbes ..


Irritable bowel syndrome is common, ill-understood and
often difficult to treat. Conventional pharmacological approaches
have not yet provided adequate solutions, and
understandably, patients have looked outside orthodox medicine
to find relief. There is a paucity of verifable data in
respect to the alternative and complementary therapies that
have been embarked upon, but worthwhile studies have been
performed, and it is possible to draw some conclusions
based on scientific grounds. Dietary manipulation and exclusion
diets can help but value from any dietary addition
has yet to be confirmed. Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy
(whether individual or group) are valuable in selected patients.
Relaxation therapy and biofeedback techniques are
probably helpful but reliable data is still awaited. Cognitive
behavioural therapy is useful for some patients, but
acupuncture does not seem to be effective.
Key words: Irritable bowel syndrome, acupuncture, hypnotherapy,
alternative therapy complementary therapy
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