Sorting out the IBS symptoms from the symptoms linked with other disorders can take time. IBS Sufferers will experience the same symptoms more than once or twice over a prolonged period when he or she has IBS.
However, those symptoms will not appear on a usual basis; they tend to appear on an irregular schedule. Patients should record the time when symptoms occur. One night of diarrhea due to food poisoning is not an IBS symptom.
The individual does not necessarily have IBS and wakes one night to pain in the abdominal region. An individual who discovers blood in his or her stool should not conclude that he or she has the disorder known as IBS.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
A number of disorders of the GI tract share with IBS certain common symptoms. Inflammatory bowel disease can trigger diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and fever, and IBS symptoms.
The presence of ulcers in the digestive tract results in inflammatory bowel disease. The physician can distinguish between IBS and an irritated bowel with the help of diagnostic tests such as a colonoscopy and a barium enema.
Duodenal ulcers can cause pain in the upper abdominal region. Like IBS, such ulcers become a greater problem when a patient is stressed. However, these ulcers do not result from a malfunctioning of the nerves in the small intestine. They are caused by an excess of acidic digestive juices.
While blood in the stool could be an IBS symptom, it could also be a sign that a more serious condition has disrupted the patient’s GI system. Blood in the stool could indicate the presence of colon cancer. The physician must call for a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy in order to determine which disorder to treat.
While Treating Females
A physician must consider a number of possible conditions when he is treating a female patient with IBS symptoms. Pain in the pelvic region could be a sign that the patient has ovarian, endometrial, or cervical cancer.
In fact, one female recently circulated an e-mail about experiencing a build-up of abdominal fluid. Extensive testing eventually showed that she had ovarian cancer.
Researchers have uncovered more of the markers that denote the presence of specific cancers. Physicians must be ready to order the appropriate diagnostic tests as many female cancers can appear similar to IBS. They would need to order tests that could detect any cancer markers.
Physicians should also learn about the family history of their patients. The physician should make note of that fact if a female patient had a mother or sister who suffered from ovarian cancer.
Physicians who are well-acquainted with the family history of their patients stand less chance of ignoring circumstances that are very similar to IBS.
By the same token, the patient should not be unnecessarily alarmed by news from the laboratory. Sometimes the lab tests yield false negative results. Of course, the physician would have less reason to suspect an alternate condition, if IBS medication the symptoms.
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