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All about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes of irritable bowel syndrome risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome irritable bowel syndrome symptoms diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome treatment for irritable bowel syndrome irritable bowel syndrome diet medications to cure irritable bowel syndrome stress management for irritable bowel syndrome

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

Diagnosing IBS is a fairly complex task because the disorder does not produce changes that can be identified during a physical examination or by laboratory tests. When IBS is suspected, the doctor (who can be either a family doctor or a specialist) needs to determine whether the patient's symptoms satisfy the Rome criteria. The doctor must rule out other

conditions that resemble IBS, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These disorders are ruled out by questioning the patient about his or her physical and mental health (the medical history), performing a physical examination, and ordering laboratory tests. Normally the patient is asked to provide a stool sample that can be tested for blood and intestinal parasites. In some cases x rays or an internal examination of the colon using a flexible instrument inserted through the anus (a sigmoidoscope or colonoscope) is necessary. The doctor also may ask the patient to try a lactose-free diet for two or three weeks to see whether lactose intolerance is causing the symptoms.

The diagnosis of a functional bowel disorder always presumes the absence of a structural or biochemical explanation for the symptoms. This has to be excluded carefully via colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), abdominal ultrasound, blood tests, stool chemistry (e.g. tests for exocrine pancreas insufficiency and other malabsorption conditions), stool microbiology, fecal fat, H2-tests for lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption, deep duodenal biopsy or blood tests for celiac disease. A diagnostic test for IBS via assessment of colonic/rectal hypersensitivity using a barostat is currently being discussed. However, sensitivity and specificity are not yet high enough to render the method widely applicable.

More information on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? - Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a intestinal condition characterized by abdominal pain and cramps, changes in bowel movements, gassiness, bloating, nausea, and other symptoms.
What causes irritable bowel syndrome? - An abnormality in digestion and propulsion process cause irritable bowel syndrome. Nerve-signalling chemicals, particularly serotonin, and stress appear to have an important role.
What're the risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome? - Stress stimulates colonic spasm in people with IBS. Female reproductive hormones are another trigger of irritable bowel syndrome.
What are the symptoms of IBS? - Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are abdominal pain or discomfort associated with changes in bowel habits in the absence of any structural abnormality.
How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed? - Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is diagnosed with colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), abdominal ultrasound, blood tests.
What's the treatment for irritable bowel syndrome? - Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome can consist of dietary advice, stool softeners and laxatives in obstipation-predominant, and antidiarrheals (loperamide) in diarrhea-predominant IBS.
What irritable bowel syndrome diet is suggested? - Fiber supplementation may improve symptoms of constipation and diarrhea. Avoid food or beverages that make the symptoms worse.
What medications cure irritable bowel syndrome? - Antispasmodic medicines are used to treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Antidiarrheal medications are used when diarrhea is a major feature of IBS.
Stress management for irritable bowel syndrome - Situations such as family problems, work stress, exams, etc, may trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in some people. 
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