Background and aims Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterised by chronic abdominal pain, recurrent abdominal pain or difficulties in defecation. Most of the times, the onset of this disorder is during childhood. It is one of the first 10 reasons for visits to primary care physicians, and therefore it is very important for every physician to keep his knowledge about this topic updated.
Methods The paediatric gastroenterologists worldwide try every day to explain as much as possible this syndrome by performing different researches related to its aetiology, epidemiology, symptoms, diagnostic tools or efficient treatments.
Results Based on all these data, it was proven that children with a positive history of recurrent abdominal pain are at increased risk of developing IBS further on during adolescence or even young adulthood. Romania own the second place regarding the epidemiology of IBS. Hypersensitivity and dysmotility are incriminated in the physiopathology of IBS. The first one can lead to pain and/or discomfort, while the latter can result in diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence or bloating. IBS is no longer considered an exclusion diagnosis. Microbiota is a new concept, more and more related to IBS, but still unclear. The therapeutic success is guaranteed only if the physician succeeds to establish a relationship of real support with his patient. No studies support the pharmacological approach as a first choice in the management of IBS. Nevertheless, the management of IBS includes: education, dietary measurements, identification and elimination of stressful factors, but also drug therapy.
Conclusions IBS is frequently encountered in children and teenagers. Multiple studies try to clarify the unknown aspects related to IBS. Even though multiple therapeutic options are available for the treatment of IBS, no comparative studies have been performed between them until now. The concept of individualised therapy might of real benefit for the patients diagnosed with IBS.
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