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Special Considerations for the Management of Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction in Older Adults.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The world's population is aging rapidly, with 40% of patients seen in US gastroenterology (GI) clinics being 60 years or older. Many gastrointestinal problems are more common or unique to the older adult because of progressive damage to the structure and function of the GI tract. Until recently, the epidemiology of disorders of gut-brain interaction (such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia) was not well-characterized.

RECENT FINDINGS: Forty percent of persons worldwide have disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI), with varying global patterns of incidence in older adults. There are multiple first-line approaches to managing DGBI which can also be combined including pharmacologic (e.g., neuromodulators) and nonpharmacologic approaches including dietary therapies and brain-gut behavioral therapies. However, there are considerations clinicians must account for when offering each approach related to unique biopsychosocial factors in the older adult population. In this review, we aim to critically review recent literature on the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and special considerations for diagnosing and managing DGBI in the older adult population.

SUMMARY: There have been many advances in the management of DGBI over the past decades. Given the increase in the number of older adults in the USA and worldwide, there is an urgent need for evidence-based guidance to help providers guide comprehensive care for specifically our aging patient population with respect to DGBI.

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