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Anxiety and the Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Psychiatric, Medical, or Both?

R. Bruce Lydiard, Ph.D., M.D.

Published: July 1, 1997

Article Abstract

The association between the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and psychiatric disorders is wellknownto most clinicians, but the nature of the relationship is far from clear. There is an increasedprevalence of psychiatric illness in IBS patients and an increase in IBS in psychiatric patients.Whether this association exists outside of treatment-seeking populations (i.e., in IBS sufferers who donot seek treatment) has not been well investigated. This paper will selectively review the existing literatureregarding the association of IBS and psychiatric illness in both patient and nonpatient samples.A model of the brain-gut interaction will be presented, as will practical implications of this model fortreatment of individuals with IBS.

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Volume: 58

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