Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
An irritable bowel syndrome diagnosis consists mainly of a thorough physical examination.
Since there is usually nothing definitive to make a concrete diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the diagnosis is through the process of eliminating other diseases or syndromes.
To determine how to diagnose IBS, scientists have developed the Rome diagnostic criteria to distinguish this syndrome for other illnesses similar to it.
According to these criteria, you must have certain signs and symptoms you are diagnosed with IBS. The most noteworthy symptoms for IBS are abdominal pain and cramping lasting at least three months.
The other symptoms that are important to the diagnosis is a change in how frequent the person defecates, and a change in the consistency of the stool.
It is expected that someone with IBS will have either constipation or diarrhea to accompany this syndrome. Therefore, the frequency of how often a person defecates is one criteria in determining IBS. For example, if you go to the bathroom twice a day to remove feces, and then the frequency changes to twice a week, or vice versa. Other criteria include:
- Mucus in the feces
- Puffiness and gas in the Abdomen
- A feeling of not completely emptying the bowels
- Distended Abdomen
However, if these changes are accompanied by the following symptoms that occur suddenly, then another diagnosis must be made. The symptoms below are usually not common to IBS, and additional tests are needed:
- Recurrent vomiting
- Loss of weight
- Vomiting blood or blood in stool
If you do experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to tell a health professional quickly, and should not be accepted as part of the symptoms of IBS.
In earlier publication we already discussed the diagnostic test used by a health professional to help exclude other illness to reach a diagnosis of IBS.