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Can IBS be misdiagnosed?

Avatar Dr. Kyle Bickel June 21, 2019

I think it’s really important that people who are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome make sure that the physician isn’t labeling them with irritable bowel syndrome because they don’t know what else is wrong with them. Oftentimes patients go to the doctor and they complain of bloating or gas and they have no abdominal pain and their bowel habits are normal – that’s not IBS. If you just have abdominal pain but your bowel movements are okay – that’s not irritable bowel syndrome. If you’re really constipated or you have a lot of diarrhea but you don’t have much abdominal pain – that’s not IBS. It’s really, really important to understand that IBS is a constellation of symptoms and you really need all of those symptoms to be diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. If you just come in with abdominal pain, there’s so many other things that one could have and it would be inappropriate to diagnose and categorize you as having irritable bowel syndrome. Very important to make sure that your doctor has thoroughly looked at your symptoms and made sure that he’s not just labeling you as a patient with irritable bowel syndrome, but rather, in fact, that there’s nothing more serious going on.

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