Irritable Bowel Syndrome – An Update


IBS is a very prevalent condition that affects 10% of the Australian population at any point in time. It is thus very likely that GPs will have regular contact with patients experiencing it.[1]  The cause of IBS is not known and treatment is usually based on diet and lifestyle, but understanding the condition and reducing physical and emotional stress can make a big difference. [2]  Environmental factors such as changes of routine, emotional stress, infection and diet can trigger an attack.

Diagnosis of IBS requires a careful personalised approach, a comprehensive clinical history, limited but relevant investigations, and continued follow-up. [3] The GP is well placed to provide the personalised care required for ongoing treatment of IBS patients. Primary care offers the advantage of an established patient–physician rapport, which enables the viewing of IBS in context rather than in isolation.

[1] Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. News GP. Clinical.  Lyons A, 2018 irritable bowel syndrome not the clinical burden Available at [viewed 24.9.19}

[2] Jean Hailes. Health A-Z. Bladder-owel. Irritable bowel syndrome.   Available at [viewed 24.9.19]

[3] US National Library of Medicine. National Institute of Health. Journal List. Int J Gen Medv.10; 2017PMC5673039 Available at [viewed 24.9.19]


  1. Identify IBS symptoms requiring referral to a specialist
  2. Outline alarm symptoms in IBS and identify appropriate treatment to ensure patient safety
  3. Discuss the management options for symptoms of IBS
  • Presenter(s):Chris Desmond
  • Host:Cabrini
  • Duration:38.27 min
  • Activity ID:187737
  • QI&CPD Points:2
  • Provider:Cabrini

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