Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, known as IBS, is a very common disorder in the large intestine or colon. IBS will generally cause constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and cramping. Though these symptoms may be highly uncomfortable, IBS will not cause any permanent ongoing damage to your body like other bowel disorders.
Primary Diagnostic Procedures
Before you undergo any physical procedures, your doctor will most likely want to perform some initial tests to understand more about the causation and severity of your IBS. Generally, a doctor can provide a diagnosis based on the symptoms you are experiencing. In the majority of cases, only a few small tests are necessary to achieve an accurate diagnosis. When getting checked out by your doctor, you may be required to provide your medical history, family history of IBS, and answer several questions based on your symptoms. In addition, you may also have a physical exam to rule out any other conditions.
Additional Diagnostic Tests – Stool Test and Lower GI Series
Three common tests can confirm IBS if symptoms do not show. The first test is a blood test. Although blood tests are general in nature, the results can reveal various properties and substances inside of the blood that help rule out other diseases. Another very common test is known as a stool test. While this test may not be a favorite among patients, a stool analysis is essential in verifying certain information about the disease. As an example, blood in the stool may indicate the presence of internal inflammation. Lastly, a lower GI series test uses x-rays to view inside the large intestine, including the rectum and colon. A lower GI series is generally known as a barium enema since the large intestine is filled with barium liquid. The liquid coats the large intestine to identify irregularities in the lining.
Diagnosis Through Flexible Signoidoscopy and Colonoscopy
A small fiber-optic endoscope is used in a colonoscopy. The scope is inserted through the anus and maneuvered through the length of the large intestine to visualize its lining on a digital display. A flexible sigmoidoscopy may also be applied to view the lower colon and rectum. Similar to the endoscope, the sigmoidoscopy uses a long flexible fiber-optic tube passed into the sigmoid colon. These tests are the most effective form of diagnosis for IBS or any other condition that you may not yet know of.
Don’t Waste Time, Get In Touch With Your Los Angeles Colorectal Physician
Digestive issues can wreak havoc in your life and cause complications down the road if they are not diagnosed and handled properly. Although testing may be uncomfortable and embarrassing at times, if you think you may have digestive issues, then it’s worth it to seek medical help as fast as possible. Your doctor will be able to choose the right diagnostic test for your symptoms and you should be making an appointment as soon as you recognize symptoms so you can receive proper treatment before conditions worsen. Although IBS is not life threatening, it could solve a lot of pain and frustration to speak with your doctor so you can treat and prevent further symptoms.