Evolution of bowel habit in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not well known.
Dr Garrigues and colleagues from Spain evaluated the change over time of bowel habit in IBS patients followed-up during 1 year.
The research team prospectively included 517 patients in an observational study with 5 evaluations over a 1-year period.
Symptoms were recorded daily in diary cards during four 4-week periods along the study.
Bristol Stool Scale was used to define bowel habit.
|33% of patients maintained the same habit throughout the study|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The researchers reported that 400 patients completed the study.
Rome II showed low-moderate agreement with Bristol Stool Scale to define bowel habit.
Frequency of constipation and diarrhea showed little changes throughout the study.
The team noted that over 50% of the patients had the same bowel habit when each diary was compared with the next.
The researchers observed that 33% of patients maintained the same habit throughout the study.
Most changes occurred from/to mixed or unsubtyped IBS.
The research team identified that only 14% of cases changed from constipation to diarrhea or vice versa.
This change was associated to female gender.
Dr Garrigues' team concludes, “The frequency of constipation and diarrhea remains relatively stable over time.”
“Changes in IBS subtypes are common, but changes between constipation and diarrhea are rare.”
“Alternating IBS is more frequent in women.”