Also known as: IB-STIM device, stimulation device
What is IB-STIM?
IB-STIM is a small, electrical nerve-stimulating device that children wear behind their ear to help reduce abdominal pain related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It was recently approved by the FDA and is a non-drug alternative to relieving this type of pain for patients ages 11 to 18.
How does it work?
The IB-STIM device fights chronic abdominal pain by emitting painless, low-frequency electrical pulses that stimulate the nerve branches of the cranium. The device is worn behind the ear for 5 consecutive days before it is replaced, and it can be used for up to 3 weeks in a row before the patient takes a break. The treatment is typically recommended for treating chronic abdominal pain.
In studies, children using the IB-STIM showed few side effects and significant improvement in their pain from using the IB-STIM device.
Who is a candidate for the IB-STIM?
The IB-STIM device may not be the appropriate treatment for all children with IBS or other forms of chronic abdominal pain. A health care provider may conduct certain tests and review the child’s medical history to determine if it’s the right choice for your child.
What are the risk factors?
There’s a minor risk of ear discomfort or adhesive allergy from using the IB-STIM device. IB-STIM is not recommended for patients with pacemakers, hemophilia or the skin condition known as psoriasis vulgaris.
Reviewed by: Heidi E Gamboa, DO
This page was last updated on: February 12, 2021 03:31 PM
In this edition of "You've Asked ... We've Asked," pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Heidi Gamboa discusses the IB-Stim a small, electrical nerve-stimulating device that children wear behind their ear to help reduce abdominal pain related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It was recently approved by the FDA and is a non-drug alternative to relieving this type of pain for patients ages 11 to 18.
Learn more about
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are several related illnesses that cause chronic inflammation of the gut with swelling and damage of the bowel lining.
Abdominal Pain (chronic and recurrent)
Chronic and recurrent abdominal pain in children usually refers to the 10-15% of children who complain of recurrent pain in the abdomen for which no specific cause can be found.