December 5, 2017
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal condition, affecting approximately 30 million people in the United States. The hallmark of this condition is change in bowel movements, such as diarrhea, constipation or slow-moving stools. Other symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping, fatigue and more. IBS can be treated by diet or lifestyle changes, medications, or probiotics.
However, many IBS symptoms can be confused with those of more serious conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or colon cancer. To guide proper treatment, it is essential to make a differential diagnosis as soon as possible. According to Jack Braha, DO, a practitioner at Brooklyn Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, asking five important “alarm questions” based on the ROME criteria for IBS can help make this important distinction.