How to diagnose IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

IBS Diagnose Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Making a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is often a challenge for physicians. 

First, symptoms vary quite a bit from patient to patient and may change over time. 

Second, other diseases can cause similar symptoms. 

Third, there is as yet no test that can clearly detect irritable bowel syndrome.

But in more than 70% of all IBS cases, Bacterial Overgrwoth in the Small Bowel is the root cause. 

And this can be tested with at Home Test Kits.

Rule out serious causes

In an initial consultation, the expert (preferably a gastroenterologist, dietician, nutritionist) goes through the symptoms with the patient. He or she asks, among other things, how long the symptoms have been present and whether certain factors, such as food, aggravate them.

The expert clarifies whether, for example, the patient suffers from nocturnal urge to defecate, there is blood in the stool, there has been unwanted weight loss, there is a family history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease.

In this way, the possible causes can be narrowed down and other dangerous diseases can be detected or ruled out after further examinations:

  • Blood tests (inflammation values, liver values, pancreas and bile values)

  • Test for blood in the stool

  • Rectal palpation (palpation of the rectum with a finger)

  • Ultrasound examination of the abdomen

  • Colonoscopy

  • Examination of the stool for bacterial pathogens, parasites such as worms, and also for inflammation markers and, if necessary, bile acid

  • Tests for food intolerances (for example, lactose tolerance test, fructose tolerance test) and celiac disease, tests for food allergies

  • Gynecological examination

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Testing for food intolerances useful?

Intolerances to certain foods can often trigger irritable bowel symptoms. Often those affected already suspect certain foods. A test for lactose, fructose and sorbitol intolerance, for example, can then be performed in the doctor's office.

Some people react to wheat ingredients with abdominal and other complaints. 

But there are a variety of foods that people do not tolerate well. For example, legumes, onions, leeks, too much fat, alcohol, milk protein and the so-called FODMAPs (see section Therapy - Nutrition).

A food diary can help to track down certain foods. 

The physician guideline advises against testing for IgG antibodies (immunoglobulin G), which could be directed against specific food components or foods. 

IBS Test food intolerance

This is because numerous causes can cause the levels of IgG in the blood to rise. There does not have to be an immune reaction to the food component, as suggested by the self-tests.

If one or more food intolerances or allergies can be reliably detected, there is no irritable bowel syndrome, but a specific intolerance. These and other diseases can lead to irritable bowel symptoms, but in these cases an organic cause can be found and they can be treated specifically. For example, symptoms improve significantly or disappear if someone can only tolerate a certain amount of lactose and avoids it from then on or only eats it in small amounts.

These include, for example:

· Lactose intolerance

· Fructose intolerance

· Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

· Non-celiac wheat sensitivity

· Disturbed bile acid metabolism

· Diverticulosis

· Intestinal motility disorders (intestinal motility disorders)

· Ovarian cysts

· Food allergies

Clarify psychological influences

Since irritable bowel symptoms are often accompanied by psychological problems such as a depression or anxiety disorder, this should be checked. Events that a person experienced as very threatening as a child or adult can also contribute to having an irritable bowel.

This is especially true for experiences that have led to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).