When You Visit Your Doctor - Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Do you have pain or cramping in the lower stomach?
  • How often do you get the pain?
  • Is the pain related to meals?
  • Do you suffer from constipation and small bowel movements?
  • Do you have diarrhea that alternates with constipation?
  • Do you have frequent bloating and gas?
  • Do you have a feeling of fullness in the rectum?
  • Is there a family history of inflammatory bowel disease?
  • Do you have a history of mental illness or depression?
  • Are there any things causing unusual stress in your life?
  • Please describe your diet in detail.

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Careful abdominal exam
  • Rectal exam

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Stool testing for blood and cultures
  • Conventional abdominal X-rays
  • Endoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
  • Barium enema
  • Complete blood count and other blood tests

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.