IBS Diagnosis : How, Criteria, Test, Quiz and Procedure

How Do Doctors Test for IBS?
IBS Diagnosis Guidelines?

Diagnose the Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is performed based on the signs and symptoms that appears. This is done due to there is no clear signs of IBS. So the diagnose is performed by seeing at other related conditions.

IBS Diagnosis Questionnaire

This is the first step which is quite important in the examination of IBS by physicians. Only by knowing the signs and symptoms of IBS, a doctor can have so many description about the IBS pattern of a patient.

In a question and answer session, the doctor will give you a list of questions about the signs and symptoms of IBS from a patient so they can determine what the best diagnose of IBS to perform. Examples of some common question asked is:

  • The frequency of IBS last or incurred in the past.
  • From the IBS symptoms, such as what is the quality of pain you feel.
  • What is the level of your concerns regarding IBS in the past, whether worried, alarming or ordinary thing.
  • The type of food that can trigger IBS.
  • Quality of sleep when IBS attack.
  • Frequency awakened at night as IBS.
  • Frequency of difficult to drowsiness and sleep at night


To find out the answer of your question ““Do I Have IBS”, you can try to follow the IBS test online on the Internet. Those IBS Test online will give you a few questions about IBS symptoms you felt in the past similarly as describe above.

IBS Diagnosis Criteria

In general, for determining the IBS, the diagnose is divided into two criteria. It is for further understanding of IBS and Gastrointestinal. Those criteria are :

Rome Criteria

This system was designed to determine a disorder of the intestinal tract, or better known as functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). This diagnose is only made by physician.

In the early of year 1980’s, researchers take IBS as a serious disorder and conduct further research. Those includes how to diagnose the disorder.

In 1988, on 13th International Congress of Gastroenterology in Rome, Italy, physicians set a criteria how to diagnose IBS more acurate, and it is knows as Rome Criteria. They released a guidelines about the symptoms and paremeter in IBS examination.

This criterion has undergone several revisions, until the last one is the 4th revision. In the 3rd revision, it is stated the criterion:

Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort** at least 3 days/month in the last 3 months associated with two or more of the following:

  1. Improvement with defecation
  2. Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool
  3. Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool

*Criterion fulfilled for the last 3 months with symptom onset at least 6 months prior to diagnosis

**“Discomfort” means an uncomfortable sensation not described as pain.

In pathophysiology research and clinical trials, a pain/discomfort frequency of at least 2 days a week during screening evaluation is recommended for subject eligibility.

In other word, to be diagnosed with IBS, a person must the symptoms for at least 3 days in a month for the last 3 months. Those symptoms could be lower abdominal pain, bloating and urgency.

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At least two of the three signs occur during the symptom.

  1. The first, the symptoms get better after bowel movement.
  2. The second, the symptoms is begun as the stool become more or less frequent.
  3. The third, the symptom is begun as the stool changed to be diarrhea or constipation.

Considering the time in Rome Criteria, the signs and symptoms must have started happening about six months ago. For people who wants to be diagnosed, they should have the IBS signs and symptoms at least 2 days a week.

Manning Criteria

This step is most important in defining the IBS symptoms. Those criteria includes :

  • Pain during frequent bowel movement
  • Watery stools accompanied by pain
  • Pain is reduced after defecation
  • Physically abdominal flatulence
  • Feel of incomplete defecation
  • Diarrhea with mucus

By making a diagnosis, it can be known about IBS levels you have. But the doctor will look at the signs and symptoms, to determine whether additional checks need to be done. Those conditions are :

  • Anemia
  • Blood in stool
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Symptom at night that cause sever insomnia
  • New onset around 50

If the result of the diagnosis stating that you included in the criteria for IBS and there aren’t more serious symptoms. So, then you will get the treatment of IBS. However, if the handling of your IBS shows no improvement, the doctor may perform additional tests to determine the condition and the signs to IBS that you suffer.

More IBS Diagnoses

Then the doctor may run some tests in order to rule out the conditions like food intolerances or allergies such as dietary habits that are poor and lactose intolerance; medications like certain antacids, iron, and drugs for high blood pressure; infection; and diseases of inflammatory bowel like the Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

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Besides, your doctor will probably do some following tests in order to decide you have an IBS or not. The following tests are including :

  • Flexible colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy that helps the doctor to search the signs of inflammation or blockage in the intestines
  • X-rays or knows as barium enema as large bowel testing. But in many cases, this test has been replaced by colonoscopy.
  • Upper endoscopy especially if you suffer indigestion or heartburn
  • Blood tests in order to search anemia (blood cells that are too few), infection signs, celiac disease and thyroid problems
  • Stool tests to search infections cause of bacterial or parasite and to see the presence the blood on stool
  • Test to find problems with the bowel muscles or movement rate of content inside the intestines.
  • Tests to find gluten allergy, celiac disease, or lactose intolerance
  • Psychological tests for knowing patient’s mental health from depression or anxiety due to consumption of supplement.

How Is IBS Treated

After the doctor doing the diagnosis of your IBS, they will obtain the necessary data such your IBS causes, signs, symptoms, last period, trigger substance, etc. From those information, they will know how your IBS will be treated.

They will adopt the most efficient and effective in managing your IBS treatment. Provision of drugs will be set and adjusted like a therapy.

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