Functional Gut Disorders (such as IBS)

What are functional gut disorders?

Functional gut disorders are characterised by gastrointestinal symptoms that have no known biological, organic or structural causes. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gut disorder.

What are the symptoms of functional gut disorders?

Some of the symptoms include:

What causes functional gut disorders?

While there has been more study into conditions such as IBS, at this stage the cause is unknown. Attacks may be triggered by an infection, food intolerance, stress, medication or general diet.

How are functional gut disorders diagnosed?

You won’t always need a test to determine if you have a condition such as IBS. However, if you are at risk of other issues such as bowel cancer, or it is suspected you have coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease or polyps, you may need some additional tests. This may include blood tests, stool tests and sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

What treatment options are available?

Treatments will depend on the exact type of disorder you have. They can include

  • medications, such as
    • pro-motility agents,
    • anti-diarrhoeals,
    • pain-relief,
    • laxatives, and
    • low dose anti-depressants,
  • dietary measures, such as
    • fibre supplementation,
    • probiotics,
    • low FODMAP diet, and
    • gluten-free diet
  • psychological intervention.

Find out more about functional gut disorders

To find out more about functional gut disorders talk to one of our gastroenterologists today.