IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A syndrome is a set of medical signs and/or symptoms which cannot be related to a particular disease. For this reason, we consider syndromes to be a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning there is no underlying medical factor causing the signs and or/symptoms associated with a patients concerns.
IBS has three different types: IBS-D (diarrhea), IBS-C (constipation), IBS-M (mixed diarrhea/constipation) and must meet certain criteria called the Rome Criteria. The Rome criteria is the following:
Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort greater than or equal to 3 days per month in the last 3 months and associated with greater than or equal to 2 of the following:
- Pain/discomfort is improved after defecation
- Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool
- Onset associated with a change in form (or appearance) of stool, alternating between diarrhea or constipation
It is important to remember that in order to diagnose IBS there must be no other evidence of any inflammatory, anatomical, metabolic, or other processes that could cause the symptoms.
Many diseases can cause similar symptoms of IBS such as diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, dysbiosis, food sensitivities, and more. It is important to get to the root cause and make sure you are getting a full and proper work up in order to make sure there is not an underlying disease process causing these symptoms.
Along with basic testing, we can also provide more specific and specialized testing in office for these common concerns such as a food sensitivity panel, stool test, and other blood work and diagnostic imaging to more specifically aid us in treatment.
Dr. Shay Herndon
This blog was written by Dr. Shay Herndon. For more information on her, visit her page by clicking here. You can also schedule a free 15 minute consultation with her by scheduling online or calling our office!