Irritable Bowel Syndrome (cont.)
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
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Irritable bowel syndrome affects each person differently. The hallmark of IBS is abdominal discomfort or pain. The following symptoms are also common:
The following are NOT symptoms or characteristics of IBS (but should still be brought to the attention of a physician since they may be signs and symptoms of other conditions):
When to Seek Medical Care for IBS
If a person has any of the symptoms of IBS as discussed previously, or if a person with known IBS has unusual symptoms, a health care practitioner should be consulted. Go to a hospital emergency department if problems are severe and/or come on suddenly.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis
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Irritable bowel syndrome can be a very difficult diagnosis to make. IBS is called a diagnosis of exclusion, which means a doctor considers many other alternatives first, performing tests to rule out other medical problems. Some of these tests may include laboratory studies, imaging studies (such as a CT scan or small intestinal X-rays), or a lower GI endoscopy (colonoscopy). An endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible tube with a tiny camera on one end is passed into the GI tract while the patient is under conscious sedation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/12/2014
Bhupinder Anand, MD
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