IBS Fact : Evidence-based information on irritable bowel syndrome

Other conditions with IBS-like symptoms

Less frequent disorders that may also be mistakenly attributed to IBS include various food allergies and intolerances, parasitic infections, thyroid and pancreatic diseases, diverticulitis, gallstones and diseases of the female reproductive organs. In addition, IBS is relatively more frequently accompanied by disorders such as fibromyalgia, depression, somatisation and anxiety. This further adds to the complexity of IBS and stresses the need of thorough diagnosis and treatment by a professional gastroenterologist. Although the so called red flags may point toward a more serious pathology and should prompt further examination, their sensitivity and selectivity is quite poor. Accordingly, the great majority of patients presenting one or more of these red flags does not suffer from other conditions than IBS. Here, again, a professional gastroenterologist should be consulted to resolve any doubts.

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