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, recommendation 18.104.22.168 was updated in line with more recent guidance on recognition and referral for suspected cancer. This recommendation is dated . Recommendation 22.214.171.124 was removed as it was no longer needed after the changes to recommendation 126.96.36.199.
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?
We checked this guideline in February 2017. We found no new evidence that affects the recommendations in this guideline.
Next review: 2019
Guideline development process
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 are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance 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.