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Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a prevalent disorder affecting around 12% of the population and is present worldwide. It constitutes approximately 40% of consultations in secondary care gastroenterology clinics. Given the prevalence of the disease, it exerts a significant societal burden, through increased health care costs, and personal burden, through a reduced quality of life. The aetiology of IBS is multifactorial and incompletely understood. In a similar manner the management of IBS is also multifactorial and encompasses the establishment of a therapeutic relationship, exclusion of other organic causes and the delineation of predominant bowel habit. Specific pharmacotherapy is directed towards symptomatic management. This review provides a focused summary of the epidemiology, clinical features, differential diagnosis and management of IBS.