The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) often cause great embarrassment for suceptible individuals. IBS is complex and can be slow to diagnose and unfortunately many people suffer in silence for far too long before seeking professional help. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating, needing to used the bathroom in a hurry and extremes of bowel motions i.e. constipation or diarrhoea.
IBS is thought to affect 10-20% of the general population and most often effects people aged 20-30 years. It is twice as prevalent in women than men.
Diagnosis of IBS
The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) developed guidelines for health professionals regarding IBS in adults.
According to the NICE guidelines produced in 2008, a diagnosis of IBS should be considered only if the person has abdominal pain or discomfort that is either relieved by defecation or associated with altered bowel frequency or stool consistency.
This complaint should be accompanied by at least two of the following four symptoms:
- Altered stool passage (straining, urgency, incomplete evacuation)
- Abdominal bloating (distension, tension or hardness)
- Symptoms made worse by eating
- The passage of mucus.
Other features such as lethargy, nausea, backache and bladder symptoms are common in people with IBS and may be used to support the diagnosis.
Avoid Self – Diagnosis
It is important not to “self – diagnose” and always consult your doctor for an official diagnosis. The guidelines also recommend that those who meet the IBS diagnostic criteria above, should have the following blood tests undertaken with their GP or gastroenterologist in order to exclude other medical conditions which may display similar symptoms:
Full blood count (FBC)
erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
c-reactive protein (CRP)
antibody testing for coeliac disease (EMA or TTG antibodies)
The Low FODMAP Diet
Contact the clinic to find out more about the new Low FODMAP dietary approach…
Scientifically proven to relieve IBS symptoms for the majority of sufferers