Review article: A practical approach to persistent gastrointestinal symptoms in inflammatory bowel disease in remission

Arta Aliu, Daan H.C.A. Bosch, Daniel Keszthelyi, Ashkan Rezazadeh Ardabili, Jean Frederic Colombel, Rachel Sawyer, Hans Törnblom, Ailsa Hart, Daisy M.A.E. Jonkers, Marieke J. Pierik, Zlatan Mujagic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Persistent gastrointestinal symptoms are prevalent in adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), even when endoscopic remission is reached. These symptoms can have profound negative effects on the quality of life of affected patients and can be difficult to treat. They may be caused by IBD-related complications or comorbid disorders, but they can also be explained by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptoms. Aims: To provide a practical step-by-step guide to diagnose and treat persistent gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with IBD in remission via a personalised approach. Methods: We scrutinised relevant literature on causes, diagnostics and treatment of persistent gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, abdominal distension, diarrhoea, constipation and faecal incontinence) in patients with IBD in remission. Results: A graphical practical guide for several steps in diagnosing, identifying potential triggers and adequate treatment of persistent gastrointestinal symptoms in IBD in remission is provided based on supporting literature. The first part of this review focuses on the diagnostic and treatment approaches for potential IBD-related complications and comorbidities. The second part describes the approach to IBS-like symptoms in IBD in remission. Conclusions: Persistent gastrointestinal symptoms in IBD in remission can be traced back to potential pathophysiological mechanisms in individual patients and can be treated adequately. For both IBD-related complications and comorbidities and IBS-like symptoms in IBD in remission, pharmacological, dietary, lifestyle or psychological treatments can be effective. A systematic and personalised approach is required to reduce the burden for patients, healthcare systems, and society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1470-1488
Number of pages19
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume59
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • IBD in remission
  • IBS in IBD
  • IBS-like symptoms
  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea

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