Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a fairly well-known disorder these days Ė medications for IBS are advertised on TV and in media, and thankfully it is now far less of a taboo to talk about your bowels.
However, this new awareness sometimes means that patients decide they have IBS without seeing a doctor. In fact it is impossible to self-diagnose IBS, because there are far two many medical conditions which can produce symptoms of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain.
Because of this fact it is vital to get your symptoms thoroughly checked out by a doctor, especially if they are continuing for a long period of time or are interfering with your work or social life.
Even when patients do see a doctor, however, a significant number donít receive correct diagnosis until their second or third visit, or until they see a gut specialist. It is vital to find a doctor who is willing to take time to investigate any symptoms that donít fit with IBS diagnosis, and who can ensure that you donít have one of many medical conditions which can produce bowel and stomach problems.
For example, if you are a woman you could have endometriosis, a condition where tissue which usually lines ovaries is found in other parts of body. If tissue attaches to bowel then abdominal pain can be result.
Just this week I received an email from a women who was told she had IBS, and then doctors changed their minds after a laparoscopy to look for endometriosis.