This guideline covers diagnosing and managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in people aged 18 and over. It details how to accurately diagnose IBS, and aims to improve the quality of life for adults with IBS by promoting effective management using dietary and lifestyle advice, pharmacological therapy and referral for psychological interventions.
In April 2017, we updated recommendations on initial assessment to cross-refer to the NICE guideline on suspected cancer.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- diagnosing IBS
- dietary and lifestyle advice
- pharmacological therapy
- referral for psychological interventions
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers
- People with suspected or confirmed IBS and their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
February 2017: We checked this guideline and found no new evidence affecting the recommendations. For more information, see the surveillance decision.
Guideline development process
This guideline updates and replaces evidence summary ESNM16.
This guideline was previously called irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome in primary care.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.