Do you ever wonder what’s wrong with you? You experience confusing symptoms of bloating and constipation sometimes, or bouts of diarrhea other times. You ask yourself, “what’s behind these symptoms?” They could very well be IBS symptoms, but how do you know for sure? An IBS diagnosis isn’t so simple.
How to Know if You Have IBS
An IBS diagnosis comes with a complete physical and a study of your medical history. There aren’t any physical signs to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, so a medical professional needs to rule out any other conditions.
Two diagnostic IBS criteria help diagnose this trying syndrome affecting so many people around the world. After ruling out other conditions (ensuring the bowel appears normal but is not functioning as such) doctors will use the criteria to determine what is the cause of your suffering.
1. The Rome criteria requires the patient shows some signs of IBS. Signs like discomfort and abdominal pain that last for several days in a month, along with improved defecation or altered frequency of bowel movements or the consistency of the stool.
2. The Manning criteria is focused on the patient having incomplete bowel movements, mucus found in the stool, as well as altered stool consistency, in addition to pain relief from having a bowel movement.
All signs and symptoms will be assessed. Your doctor will order other tests if there are red flags or concerns.
Be prepared to undergo more tests if the problems occured after you turned 50 years of age or experienced weight loss for no reason, any rectal bleeding or fever, persistent diarrhea, strange abdominal pains that aren’t relieved even when having a bowel movement, among others.
As such, your doctor may order a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a lower GI series of tests, and more.