Full text: AGA Clinical Practice Update on Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Expert Review (JF Columbel et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019; 17: 380-90).
My take: Overall, this article presents a concise review of a tricky problem and appropiriate management. The algorithm, tables and figures are useful.
Best practice advice 1: A stepwise approach to rule-out ongoing inflammatory activity should be followed in IBD patients with persistent GI symptoms (measurement of fecal calprotectin, endoscopy with biopsy, cross-sectional imaging).
In the report, the authors note that endoscopy and cross-sectional imaging are not needed in all patients; mainly in patients with a suspected flare based on presentation, calprotectin, and blood work.
Best practice advice 2: In those patients with indeterminate fecal calprotectin levels and mild symptoms, clinicians may consider serial calprotectin monitoring to facilitate anticipatory management.
Best practice advice 3: Anatomic abnormalities or structural complications should be considered in patients with obstructive symptoms including abdominal distention, pain, nausea and vomiting, obstipation or constipation.
Best practice advice 4: Alternative pathophysiologic mechanisms should be considered and evaluated (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, bile acid diarrhea, carbohydrate intolerance, chronic pancreatitis) based on predominant symptom patterns.
Best practice advice 5: A low FODMAP diet may be offered for management of functional GI symptoms in IBD with careful attention to nutritional adequacy.
Best practice advice 6: Psychological therapies (cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, mindfulness therapy) should be considered in IBD patients with functional symptoms.
Best practice advice 7: Osmotic and stimulant laxative should be offered to IBD patients with chronic constipation.
Best practice advice 8: Hypomotility agents or bile-acid sequestrants may be used for chronic diarrhea in quiescent IBD.
Best practice advice 9: Antispasmodics, neuropathic-directed agents, and anti-depressants should be used for functional pain in IBD while use of opiates should be avoided.
Best practice advice 10: Probiotics may be considered for treatment of functional symptoms in IBD.
Best practice advice 11: Pelvic floor therapy should be offered to IBD patients with evidence of an underlying defecatory disorder.
Best practice advice 12: Until further evidence is available, fecal microbiota transplant should not be offered for treatment of functional GI symptoms in IBD.
Best practice advice 13: Physical exercise should be encourage in IBD patients with functional GI symptoms.
Best practice advice 14: Until further evidence is available, complementary and alternative therapies should not be routinely offered for functional symptoms in IBD.