Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) : Getting diagnosed

What happens at your GP appointment

Your GP will ask about your symptoms, such as:

  • what symptoms you have
  • if they come and go
  • how often you get them
  • when you get them (for example, after eating certain foods)
  • how long you've had them

Before your appointment, it might help to write down details of your symptoms to help you remember them.

Your GP may also feel your tummy to check for lumps or swelling.


Tests for IBS

There's no test for IBS, but you might need some tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.

Your GP may arrange:

  • a blood test to check for problems like coeliac disease
  • tests on a sample of your poo to check for infections and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

You won't usually need further tests in hospital unless your GP isn't sure what the problem is.

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What happens if you're diagnosed with IBS

If your GP thinks you have IBS, they'll talk to you about what it is and what the treatment options are.

It might be difficult to take in everything they tell you.

If you're unsure about something afterwards, write down any questions you have and make another appointment to go over them.

The IBS Network also has online information you might find useful.

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