Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the large intestine and causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and changes in bowel movements. Postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) is a type of IBS that occurs after a person has had a gastrointestinal infection.

A recent study has identified several independent risk factors for PI-IBS eight years after an acute enteric illness.

These risk factors include:

  1. Female Gender: Women are more likely to develop PI-IBS after a gastrointestinal infection than men.
  2. Younger Age: Younger individuals are at a higher risk of developing PI-IBS than older individuals.
  3. Prior Anxiety/Depression: People with a history of anxiety or depression are more likely to develop PI-IBS after a gastrointestinal infection.
  4. Fever or Weight Loss During the Acute Enteric Illness: Individuals who experience fever or weight loss during a gastrointestinal infection are more likely to develop PI-IBS.

These risk factors can help healthcare providers identify people at risk of developing PI-IBS after a gastrointestinal infection and may require closer monitoring and more aggressive treatment.

Treatment for PI-IBS may include changes to the person’s diet, medications, and psychological therapy and should be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and symptoms. In some cases, dietary changes, such as increasing fiber and reducing triggers for IBS, may help improve symptoms. Medications, such as antispasmodics, laxatives, or antidiarrheals, may also be prescribed to manage specific symptoms. Psychological therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, is also recommended to help manage stress and improve symptoms of IBS.

PI-IBS is a type of IBS that occurs after a person has had a gastrointestinal infection. Independent risk factors for PI-IBS at eight years include female gender, younger age, prior anxiety/depression, and fever or weight loss during acute enteric illness. Treatment for PI-IBS should be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and symptoms and may include changes to the person’s diet, medications, and psychological therapy. If you are experiencing symptoms of PI-IBS, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.