Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common disorder that affects your large intestine. IBS symptoms include:
Despite these uncomfortable symptoms, IBS doesn’t cause permanent damage to your colon. Fortunately, unlike more serious colon and intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, IBS doesn’t cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
Most people can ease IBS symptoms with changes in diet, medicine and stress management. For more information about IBS or to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist specializing in IBS, call us at: 718-461-6161.
Many people have only mild signs and symptoms of IBS. However, sometimes these problems can be disabling. In some cases, you may have severe signs and symptoms that don’t respond well to medical treatment. Because symptoms of IBS can occur with other more serious diseases, it’s best to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Since there are usually no physical signs to definitively diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, diagnosis is often a process of elimination. According to common IBS diagnosis criteria, you must have experienced abdominal pain and discomfort for at least 12 weeks before a doctor would diagnose IBS.
A diagnosis of IBS depends largely on a complete medical history and physical exam. Your doctor may recommend several tests, including stool studies to check for infection or malabsorption problems.
Other tests that you may undergo to rule out other causes for your symptoms include:
Computerized tomography (CT) scan
Lactose intolerance tests