Irritable bowel syndrome laboratory findings

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Irritable bowel syndrome Microchapters


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sudarshana Datta, MD [2]


The diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is based on clinical symptoms and elimination of other organic gastrointestinal diseases. This is due to lack of definitive radiologic or laboratory diagnostic tests in IBS. If the history and physical examination are suggestive of IBS in the absence of alarm features, complete blood count, occult blood test, complete metabolic panel and ESR are usually normal. Additional tests may be costly and harmful in young patients with typical IBS symptoms, in the absence of alarm features. To determine the aggressiveness of the diagnostic evaluation, the American Gastroenterological Association has defined certain factors that must be considered such as degree of psychosocial impairment, age and sex of the patient, family history of colorectal cancer etc. In patients that require aggressive diagnostic evaluation, additional diseases such as Celiac disease, IBD, Clostridium difficile infection, giardiasis, lactase deficiency, bile salt malabsorption and colon cancer should be ruled out.

Laboratory Findings

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