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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Jan;26(1):1-2. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12274.

Irritable bowel syndrome subtypes: constipation, diarrhea…and mixed bowel pattern: tertium datur.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


The study by Su et al. published in this issue of NGM provides helpful insight into a relatively large, yet understudied, subgroup of IBS known as IBS with mixed bowel pattern (IBS-M). These investigators found among their 289 IBS subjects who underwent detailed assessment the IBS-M subtype to be particularly common. Interestingly, prior use of laxatives or antidiarrheal agents was found to potentially explain the mixed bowel pattern in approximately 30% of patients. These IBS-M patients tended to report more severe IBS symptoms. IBS-M patients had bowel symptoms more similar to IBS-D than IBS-C, particularly with regard to the rectal urgency. Hopefully many more studies will be forthcoming to further our understanding of IBS-M.


IBS-M; constipation; diarrhea

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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