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Making Sense of IBS

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Title: Making Sense of IBS

Author: Brian E Lacy

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Carol Singleton, Queen’s nurse, North Tyneside

What was it like?

The author sets out his goals for the book in the preface, which includes providing information that will allow people who have IBS to better understand their symptoms, institute changes, and improve their quality of life.

This book is divided into four parts, firstly covering a general, basic introduction to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, secondly looking at diagnosing IBS, thirdly treating IBS and lastly a part covering IBS in children and what the future holds for treatments and education.

What were the highlights? 

One of the highlights for me was the chapter on complementary and alternative medicine, which clearly describes the different therapies available and how/ if they can be of benefit to patients with IBS. Another highlight was the chapter on “Lifestyle Modifications”, which describes how some lifestyle factors can worsen IBS symptoms while others can improve them based on the experience of the patients treated by  various physicians. These modifications include exercise, sleep, over-the-counter medications and stress reduction. Research is mentioned in this chapter but references are not included so that readers could explore it in more details.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The language within the book is clear and easy to follow but the downside of having an US author is that the care provided may differ between the US and the UK. This does not detract from the issues discussed and Chapter 23, which describes the ingredients of an effective doctor’s appointment, would be useful reading for any patient preparing to undergo a consultation.

There is a comprehensive glossary at the back of the book, also an index, references are provided together by chapter and there is a section of “patient resources” but this is orientated towards the USA.

Who should read it?

Anybody who has symptoms or a diagnosis of IBS and clinical staff who may encounter patients with the disease, should read this fascinating book.


Making sense of IBS

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