Description: The purpose of this clinical practice update review is to describe key principles in the diagnosis and management of functional gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Methods: The evidence and best practices summarized in this manuscript are based on relevant scientific publications, systematic reviews, and expert opinion where applicable. Best practice advice 1: A stepwise approach to rule-out ongoing inflammatory activity should be followed in IBD patients with persistent GI symptoms (measurement of fecal calprotectin, endoscopy with biopsy, cross-sectional imaging). Best practice advice 2: In those patients with indeterminate fecal calprotectin levels and mild symptoms, clinicians may consider serial calprotectin monitoring to facilitate anticipatory management. Best practice advice 3: Anatomic abnormalities or structural complications should be considered in patients with obstructive symptoms including abdominal distention, pain, nausea and vomiting, obstipation or constipation. Best practice advice 4: Alternative pathophysiologic mechanisms should be considered and evaluated (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, bile acid diarrhea, carbohydrate intolerance, chronic pancreatitis) based on predominant symptom patterns. Best practice advice 5: A low FODMAP diet may be offered for management of functional GI symptoms in IBD with careful attention to nutritional adequacy. Best practice advice 6: Psychological therapies (cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, mindfulness therapy) should be considered in IBD patients with functional symptoms. Best practice advice 7: Osmotic and stimulant laxative should be offered to IBD patients with chronic constipation. Best practice advice 8: Hypomotility agents or bile-acid sequestrants may be used for chronic diarrhea in quiescent IBD. Best practice advice 9: Antispasmodics, neuropathic-directed agents, and anti-depressants should be used for functional pain in IBD while use of opiates should be avoided. Best practice advice 10: Probiotics may be considered for treatment of functional symptoms in IBD. Best practice advice 11: Pelvic floor therapy should be offered to IBD patients with evidence of an underlying defecatory disorder. Best practice advice 12: Until further evidence is available, fecal microbiota transplant should not be offered for treatment of functional GI symptoms in IBD. Best practice advice 13: Physical exercise should be encourage in IBD patients with functional GI symptoms. Best practice advice 14: Until further evidence is available, complementary and alternative therapies should not be routinely offered for functional symptoms in IBD. This Clinical Practice Update was produced by the AGA Institute.
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