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Diagnostic guidelines

Diagnostic tests

Source: NICE Guidelines 61 - Irritable Bowel Syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management. February 2015.

In patients who meet the IBS diagnostic criteria, the following tests should be undertaken to exclude other diagnoses:

  • Full blood count (FBC)
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or plasma viscosity
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Antibody testing for coeliac disease (endomysial antibodies [EMA] or tissue transglutaminase [TTG]).

The following tests are not necessary to confirm diagnosis in patients who meet the IBS diagnostic criteria:

  • Ultrasound
  • Rigid/flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy; barium enema
  • Thyroid function test
  • Faecal ova and parasite test
  • Faecal occult blood
  • Hydrogen breath test (for lactose intolerance and bacterial overgrowth)