Diagnosis of IBS
A physical exam and complete medical history may be enough for a physician to suggest Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, its symptoms, if severe enough, mimic signs of more serious illnesses that, left untreated, can damage the intestines. Testing to rule out more serious illnesses is an important part of the diagnosis process.
Additional testing can be done through either an imaging test like sigmoidoscopy (an endoscopic procedure), colonoscopy, x-rays, or CT scans. Lab tests such as blood, breath and stool tests will be performed. Lactose intolerance testing may also be performed.
Once more serious illness is ruled out, a treatment plan can be worked out to address the patient’s symptoms.