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Digestive Diseases

Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is diagnosed by assessing symptoms, and conducting a number of medical tests to help rule out other conditions such as polyps, inflammation, food intolerance or allergies, and celiac disease. Specific symptom guidelines, called the Rome III criteria, help physicians assess and treat patients.

Doctors will perform a physical examination, blood tests, and do an x-ray of the bowel called a barium enema, or lower GI series. Barium, a thick liquid that helps visualize the bowel on an X-ray, is administered via an enema. A colonoscopy will also be performed; a thin tub is inserted through the anus into the bowel which has a tiny camera on it, which projects images onto a screen and visualizes the bowel. Additional tests may be done to check bowel motility (how fast food passes through), and if the anal muscles are functioning properly.

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Digestive and Liver Diseases, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia
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(212) 305-1909
Gastroenterology and Hepatology, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
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(646) 962-4463
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