Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children (cont.)


Reader Stories

Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that are similar to microorganisms normally found in the GI tract. Studies have found that probiotics, specifically Bifidobacteria and certain probiotic combinations, improve symptoms of IBS when taken in large enough amounts. But more research is needed. Probiotics can be found in dietary supplements, such as capsules, tablets, and powders, and in some foods, such as yogurt. A health care provider can give information about the right kind and right amount of probiotics to take to improve IBS symptoms.

Therapies for Mental Health Problems

Reader Stories

The following therapies can help improve IBS symptoms due to mental health problems:

  • Talk therapy. Talking with a therapist may reduce stress and improve IBS symptoms. Two types of talk therapy used to treat IBS are cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic, or interpersonal, therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the child's thoughts and actions. Psychodynamic therapy focuses on how emotions affect IBS symptoms. This type of therapy often involves relaxation and stress management techniques.
  • Hypnotherapy. In hypnotherapy, the therapist uses hypnosis to help the child relax into a trancelike state. This type of therapy may help the child relax the muscles in the colon.


¹Di Lorenzo C, Rasquin A, Forbes D, et al. Childhood functional gastrointestinal disorders: child/adolescent. In: Drossman DA, ed. Rome III: The Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. 3rd ed. Lawrence: Allen Press, Inc.; 2006: 739.

²Hyams JS, Burke G, Davis PM, Rzepski B, Adrulonis PA. Abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome in adolescents: a community-based study. The Journal of Pediatrics. 1996;129(2):220–226.

³Slavin, JL. Position of the American Dietetic Association: health implications of dietary fiber. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2008;108:1716–1731.

SOURCE: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children.

Last Editorial Review: 7/13/2012

IBS Pictures Slideshow: Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children - Symptoms Question: What were your child's symptoms associated with IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children - Causes Question: If known, what is the cause of your child's IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children - Diagnosis Question: What types of tests and exams led to an IBS diagnosis for your child?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment is your child receiving for his/her IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children - Diet Question: What foods trigger IBS in your child? Please share your experience.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children - Probiotics Question: Does your child take probiotics to control his/her IBS? What dietary changes have you made?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children - Mental Health Therapy Question: Has your child benefited from talk therapy/counseling? Please share your experience.