Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation among Older Adults

Richard Saad, MD, Lecturer, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
William D. Chey, MD, AGAF, FACG, FACP, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine; Director, GI Physiology Laboratory, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is traditionally considered a disorder of young adulthood; however, it affects adults of all ages, including older adults. As the older population increases so will the impact of IBS in this age group. Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) is believed to be particularly significant given the prevalence of constipation among the aged. At present, the evaluation and management of this disorder has been largely driven by data obtained from younger adults. However, there are numerous aspects of the underlying pathophysiology, evaluation, and treatment of IBS-C that remain unique to older adults, of which the clinician should be cognizant.
Key words: irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, older adults, functional bowel disorder.