In This Issue -- Complementary Health Approaches for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of Health
NCCIH: Part of the National Institutes of Health. NIH: Turning Discovery Into HealthClinical Digest

July 2015

for health professionals

Woman sitting on a bed, holding her stomach. Credit Tom Le Goff

Complementary Health Approaches for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—a chronic disorder that interferes with the normal functions of the colon—is challenging to study because of its varied, non-specific symptoms, episodic nature and the lack of confirmatory diagnostic testing. Although there is emerging evidence suggesting that some complementary health practices may be used for treating IBS, most of the studies have methodological flaws. Systematic reviews evaluating complementary modalities for IBS symptoms have concluded that few large, well-designed studies exist and further research is required to determine whether complementary or integrative health practices are effective for treating IBS.

This issue summarizes the research on commonly used complementary and integrative health approaches for managing symptoms of IBS.

Read more »

What the Science Says:
Complementary Health Approaches for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Learn what current research has to say about:

Bullet Probiotics

Bullet Hypnotherapy

Bullet Peppermint Oil

Bullet Herbal Remedies

Bullet Acupuncture

Bullet Homeopathy

Read more »

Additional Resources

Bullet Clinical Practice Guidelines

Bullet Scientific Literature

Bullet Research Spotlights

Bullet For Your Patients

Bullet 6 Tips: IBS and Complementary Health Practices

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NCCIH Clinical Digest is a service of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NCCIH Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter, offers evidence-based information on CAM, including scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCIH-funded research, fact sheets for patients, and more.

NCCIH is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the NIH. The mission of NCCIH is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCIH's Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCIH Web site at