Tests for IBS
Common tests which are performed in patients suspected of IBS include:
Sigmoidoscopy- a test which uses a flexible scope passed through the rectum and examines lower colon
Colonoscopy uses a flexible scope with a camera but can examine the entire colon.
CT scan is used to examine the entire abdomen and pelvis. It does use radiation and a dye
Because symptoms of IBS are often similar to lactose intolerance, many individuals undergo a breath test to rule out it out.
The other disorder that is very similar in presentation to IBS is celiac disease. Thus, one may need to undergo some types of blood tests to determine presence of celiac disease
Affect on lifestyle
IBS is not life threatening but can interfere with personal life, relationships and friends. One becomes preoccupied with food and develops certain degree of paranoia. This often leads to a disturbed personality, anger, and isolation. One can even develop malnourishment if proper nutrients are not consumed.
Most patients seek help when symptoms affect quality of life. Because of the vague symptoms, the diagnosis of IBS is always delayed. However, even when the diagnosis is made, treatment is not always effective.
Why IBS occurs is a mystery. There are countless theories and speculations but the real reason for IBS is not known. The most likely factors that lead to development of IBS include disordered gut motility, increase sensitivity of intestines to food or chemicals, and increased contractions of gut. When these factors are combined, they can lead to constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, nausea, and abnormal gas expulsion. Most individuals who have IBS are very sensitive to wheat and dairy products leading to rapid diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas production.
In each and every case, the symptoms can be very confusing and doctors generally try to rule out the most common abdominal disorders with radiological tests.
In all cases, IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion and often it takes several months to a year to make the diagnosis
5 months ago