Dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome naturally.
What are the most common symptoms?
As previously suggested, irritable bowel syndrome is not one
recognizable illness, disease or infection. Instead, it is a collection of
symptoms that are all grouped together under the same heading for the
sake of convenience.
For this reason, there is a problem that when you have an upset
stomach, this is almost always exactly what it is nothing more or less
than an upset stomach. And equally obviously, not everyone who
suffers an upset stomach is a genuine irritable bowel syndrome sufferer.
For this reason, general descriptions of the symptoms attached to IBS
are not always particularly helpful because a suggestion that a term
such as changes in your bowel habits is representative of IBS does not
really get you much further forward.
Because most people who are suffering stomach or bowel problems
need to know whether irritable bowel syndrome is their problem, it
makes sense to analyze the symptoms in a little more depth.
In order to do so and in the interests of making the description of what
IBS is as detailed as possible, I will highlight how your doctor might
decide whether youre suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or not.
As suggested previously, there are no established tests which can be
used to prove whether you are suffering from IBS or whether you have
nothing more than an upset stomach. Consequently, the science or art
of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome is based upon discounting
alternatives that produce IBS-like symptoms to eventually arrive at the
correct conclusion. To do this, doctors use many different systems and
Whilst there are plenty of different algorithmic systems that doctors
have used to diagnose IBS (including the Manning Criteria), many of
these systems are now considered obsolete, having been replaced by
the Rome III Criteria or process which was published in 2006.
This is therefore the system that we will use to try to formulate a
reasonably accurate diagnostic symptom list for IBS.
As a patient, you would meet the basic criteria for IBS according to the
Rome III process if your symptoms have persisted for a period of at
least six months, assuming that during that period of time, you have
suffered at least three bouts of difficulties or discomfort every month.
Furthermore, your doctor will be looking for a match with at least two
out of the three following statements:
Your pain is relieved when you achieve a successful bowel
The pain you feel usually occurs at a time when you can identify
consistency or appearance changes in your stools and
Your pain also appears to be linked to alterations in the regularity
with which you successfully achieve bowel movements as well.
With a match against two out of these three recognize symptoms of IBS
established, your doctor would probably be satisfied that you appear to
be suffering from IBS, but they would probe further to confirm the
This would be important because whilst these primary diagnostic
requirements are important, they might suggest that irritable bowel
syndrome is a condition of which regularity is a feature. This is however
not necessarily true.
One of the characteristics of IBS that many sufferers find most
frustrating or annoying is the fact that the condition is hardly ever
regular. They never have the luxury of knowing what is going to happen
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