Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)

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What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized mostly by abdominal pain and cramping. Other symptoms include:

How is the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) made?

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Irritable bowel syndrome is diagnosed by excluding other GI disorders that can cause similar symptoms. A complete history and physical is taken to determine the duration and frequency of symptoms. To be diagnosed with IBS, the duration of symptoms should be at least six months, and should occur at least three times a month.

Your doctor may order tests including blood tests, stool tests, X-rays, or CT scans. There is no specific finding on these tests that can confirm the diagnosis of IBS, however, other problems can be ruled out by performing them.

Your doctor may also send you to a gastroenterologist (a specialist for the digestive system). Depending on your symptoms an upper endoscopy and/or colonoscopy may be performed.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2014

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