Future challenges and directions in functional gastrointestinal disorders – complementary medicine
Many patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) use complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). This chapter presents an overview of CAM treatment options for the most common FGIDs as well as discussing the safety of CAM therapies. It focuses on those treatments that have been studied best or are used most, including herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy and manual-based therapies, like chiropractics and osteopathy. CAM therapies can also have indirect harmful effects due to missed diagnoses, delay of more effective treatments, and discontinuation of prescribed drugs. A frequently used treatment for infantile colic is spinal manipulation, given by chiropractors, manual therapists, osteopaths or craniosacral therapists. Such therapists claim that spinal manipulation is a very effective treatment for colic, but good evidence is lacking. Acupuncture has been studied widely in patients with constipation. Thus, acupuncture can be recommended as a valuable option for adult patients with constipation. In children, only a small study has been performed, suggesting an increase in bowel movements after treatment.