Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal condition. It represents a significant healthcare burden and still remains a real challenge. Over the years, IBS has been described as a strict illness of the gastrointestinal tract (medical model) or as a more complex multi-symptomatic disorder of the brain-gut axis (biopsychosocial or psychosomatic model). The reason why IBS has been such a challenge and is so difficult to handle might be related to different approaches. These differences in the view of the syndrome have affected the assessment, treatment and handling of the IBS patient. Patients with IBS, where the symptoms from the gastrointestinal tract are one part of a multi-symptom palette sometimes hidden in the body or mind, need a more holistic outlook. The key to an effective treatment approach is a gastroenterological examination to exclude other diseases along with an assessment of the whole body and its awareness by a body-mind therapist. This chapter discusses the view of the patient together with patient evaluations and body-mind treatment from a practical point of view.
Part of the book: Irritable Bowel Syndrome