How Can I Test Myself for IBS?
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects the large intestine of the digestive tract. It causes pain in the stomach, bloating, watery stools or constipation. It is usually a lifelong condition, with symptoms occurring at irregular intervals.
According to the American College of Gastroenterologists ( IV ), according to the Rome criteria for IBS, abdominal pain occurs on average at least once a week and is accompanied by an altered frequency or shape of the stool. The abdominal pain is relieved or worsened by bowel movements.
Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms that suggest IBS. Early diagnosis and timely treatment of your condition are helpful.
With your doctor's help, get tested with an antibody blood test kit available in online stores.
The development of irritable bowel syndrome
The exact cause of IBS development is not known; it could be triggered by a specific food, stress, or a previous intestinal infection, or it could run in the family. There are 3 types of IBS:
- IBS-D, in which diarrhea is the predominant symptom
- IBS-C, in which constipation is the main symptom
- IBS-M, in which both diarrhea and constipation occur
What causes irritable bowel syndrome?
The exact cause of IBS is not known. However, it has been linked to a certain food, anxiety, previous intestinal infections, or a family history.
IBS diarrhea can be triggered by certain foods, such as spicy and fatty foods, nuts, and high-fiber foods. It can also be triggered by a sudden stressful situation and anxiety.
The first symptom you may notice is a change in your bowel habits over a few months. Talk to your doctor if you suspect symptoms of IBS, such as stomach pain, a change in your bowel habits, such as a change in stool frequency, constipation, a change in the appearance of your stool, or pain during bowel movements
Irritable bowel syndrome is more common in women than in men. It is estimated that 5-19% of people in the U.S. population have IBS, and 14-24% are women. IBS symptoms are most common in women during the premenstrual period. In addition, IBS symptoms in women tend to be more troublesome and are associated with back pain and weakness.
What are the three symptoms of IBS?
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from mild to severe. IBS is suspected when symptoms occur at least three times per month for three consecutive months. These are
- Watery stools or constipation, sometimes with an urge to defecate
- Pain in the stomach that worsens after eating and subsides after bowel movements
Bloating and discomfort in the abdomen
Clinicians follow the guidelines of the American College of Gastroenterologists (ACG) IBS Working Group and use the Rome criteria IV to diagnose IBS.
The American College of Gastroenterologists guidelines for IBS follow the Rome IV criteria for the diagnosis of IBS. IBS is diagnosed when there is recurrent stomach pain at least one day per week for the past three months. In addition, the pain is accompanied by bowel movements, or there is a change in the appearance or consistency of the stool.
These symptoms should have occurred in the past three months, according to the criteria, and the onset of symptoms should have been at least six months prior to diagnosis. Celiac disease is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome. Your doctor will recommend blood and stool tests to see if your symptoms are due to other gastrointestinal conditions.
How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?
IBS can be diagnosed by an IBS blood test using an IBS test kit.
Your doctor will diagnose IBS based on your
- Mental health history
- Blood and stool testing for IBS to rule out other digestive tract disorders
- IBS antibodies using the test kit available online.
New blood tests for IBS
Previously, blood and stool tests for IBS were only performed based on exclusion criteria to rule out other digestive tract diseases such as IBD, celiac disease, etc. Now, a new blood test for IBS is being performed using a kit to confirm the diagnosis of IBS-D or IBS-M. A positive blood test indicates elevated IBS antibody, anti-Cdtb and anti-vinculin levels.
Although the test kit is available online, you cannot use it yourself at home. You will need your doctor's help to get tested for IBS with the IBS test kit.
Can you test yourself for irritable bowel syndrome?
You cannot do the IBS test at home. You can test yourself for IBS with the help of your doctor. Your doctor can test your blood for IBS antibodies. The IBS test kit will show elevated biomarkers for IBS antibodies. The test provides a direct interpretation of IBS and saves time and money compared to several tests performed earlier. If the IBS antibody test is negative, your doctor can perform additional tests later.
How is irritable bowel syndrome tested in adults?
Tests for irritable bowel syndrome in adults include
- Measurement of IBS antibodies using a test kit
- Stool tests to detect intestinal parasites such as amoebae, giardia, and occult blood
- Blood tests to rule out celiac disease, IBD, colon cancer, etc.
- CBC, thyroid test and ESR
Can a stool test detect irritable bowel syndrome?
A stool test for IBS cannot confirm the diagnosis of IBS. It can only rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms to IBS, such as giardia, amoebae, and blood in the stool.
What can be confused with irritable bowel syndrome?
Some of the gastrointestinal disorders that can be confused with IBS include
- Celiac disease
- Colon cancer
- Infections of the intestine
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Do I have IBS Quiz
Other gastrointestinal disorders cause symptoms similar to IBS. You can use an IBS quiz developed by the NHS and ask yourself the following questions
- Have my symptoms persisted for more than a month? IBS is a long-lasting condition where symptoms come and go.
- Have my symptoms changed? IBS symptoms change when bowel movements change due to stress or diet.
- Is there someone in my family who has digestive tract disease? Your doctor will run tests to rule out these conditions in you.
- Do I have any warning signs or alarming symptoms? Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as bleeding from stools, weight loss, and altered bowel movements. Your doctor will evaluate you for other digestive tract conditions.
Treatment of IBS includes adherence to an IBS-friendly diet, relaxation therapy, and medications.
What is the permanent cure for irritable bowel syndrome?
There is no permanent cure for irritable bowel syndrome. However, you can treat IBS symptoms and take precautions by avoiding triggering factors. Your doctor can help you manage your IBS symptoms. You can also join a support group of people with IBS. Using an IBS diet, exercise, stress management, and some medications recommended by your doctor can help relieve your IBS symptoms.
Joining a group of people with IBS will help you learn more about your IBS symptoms and how to manage them. Members of a group can learn from each other about the IBS diet and recipes. You can also take better care of your mental health with the support of the group.
Managing IBS includes eating a diet that fits the type of IBS you have and reduces mental stress. You may need to take medications for stomach pain, watery motions, or constipation. Keep an IBS food diary to determine which foods trigger your symptoms. Avoid greasy and spicy foods. IBS symptoms in women cannot be relieved by hormone treatment.
How can I help myself with irritable bowel syndrome?
While there is no cure for IBS, there are several ways you can help yourself and manage your symptoms:
- Adhering to dietary precautions, such as avoiding fatty and spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, nuts, fruits high in fructose, and hard-to-digest carbohydrates
- Ingesting IBS-friendly foods such as oatmeal, flaxseed, citrus fruits, almond milk, etc.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Reduce stress
- Follow your doctor's instructions on medications