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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Feb 2024 - 1 Mar 2024


Frontline Gastroenterol




Chronic abdominal pain in inflammatory bowel disease: a practical guide.


Baillie S, Norton C, Saxena S, Pollok R


Pain is common in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), yet many patients feel their pain is not addressed by healthcare professionals. Listening to a patient’s concerns about pain, assessing symptoms and acknowledging the impact these have on daily life remain crucial steps in addressing pain in IBD. While acute pain may be effectively controlled by pain medication, chronic pain is more complex and often pharmacological therapies, particularly opioids, are ineffective. Low-dose tricyclic antidepressants and psychological approaches, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, have shown some promise in offering effective pain management while lifestyle changes such as a trial of low-fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols diet in those with overlapping irritable bowel syndrome may also reduce pain. Patients benefit from a long-term, trusting relationship with their healthcare professional to allow a holistic approach combining pharmacological, psychological, lifestyle and dietary approaches to chronic pain. We present a practical review to facilitate management of chronic abdominal pain in IBD.