Diagnosis of IBS

Diagnosis of IBS?
Read about IBS first

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS, is diagnosed from history, after excluding all other causes of similiar symptoms and signs.

Specifically, diagnosis of this disorder can be presumed without great danger in a woman aged under 40, with a history of recurrent abdominal pain that fits into the story of IBS for more than two years without weight loss, bleeding from the back passage (rectum), or other very serious symptom in whom all test results come back to be normal.

If on the other hand, the symptoms are doubtful, patent is more than 45yrs, then it would be wise to see a specialist who deals with abdominal problem to do a thorough investigation.

As mentioned earlier, there are very grave conditions that can present exactly like IBS.

That is why investigation would be appropriate.


Investigations carried out in patient who present with features of IBS and who are over 45 years of age includes


Full blood test, electrolyte and urea, as well as ESR are done to determine if any long standing problem is going on.


This is a camera test that can be used in the diagnosis of ibs, to look into part of the large bowel up to the left top of the large bowel. It uses a Long tube with a telescope and well fitted light at the end. If any problem other than IBS is causing the symptom in that part of the bowel that can be visualised is spotted, a pin head size tissue is “biopsied” for further test in the lab, and then treatment can be planned appropriately.


This is a special X-ray of the lower bowel. A contrast preparation is pushed up into the rectum to fill the lower part of the bowel, and then an X-ray is taken. This helps to identify a growth in the lower bowel. If one exists, it will show up as a filling defect on the X-ray.


This is more extensive camera test. Unlike the flexible sigmoidoscopy, it looks through the whole of the large bowel. This is a very useful tool in the diagnosis of ibs


About a quarter of those who suffer from milk intolerance can be identified with this test. They must be consuming at least a glass of milk a day for this test to be significant. A simple way of testing for lactose sensitivity is to exclude milk from your diet for some weeks and see if it makes a difference.

Other test that can be ordered include thyroid function test, stool microscopy for parasites, and urine for laxatives



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