Differential Testing For Irritable Bowel Disease

SigmoidoscopyIf you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Disease, your health professional will suggest certain tests for you to take. These tests will try to exclude other causes or illnesses being responsible for the symptoms you are experiencing.

The tests recommended will also check if the causes, of the symptoms you are feeling are related to malabsorption or an infection. Among the tests, which you can undergo to eliminate from other causes for your symptoms, is the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy test. This test examines the lower part of the intestine using a tube with a light called a sigmoidoscope.

The sigmoidoscope is inserted through the anus, and allows the doctor to view if there are other problems causing constipation, before a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is made.

Other than sigmoidoscopy, the doctor can perform a coloscopy. In these cases, a small, flexible tube is used to examine the whole of the intestine, and not just the end as in sigmoidoscopy. Using the tube, a light, a small camera, the doctor is able to view any abnormalities occurring in the intestines.

A Computed Tomography or CT scan is also another test that can be ordered to determine Irritable Bowel Disease. CT scans will produce an image of the intestine, similar to an x-ray. It will allow the health professional to detect any other reasons for the symptoms the person is experiencing.

In some cases, a lactose intolerance test is also completed to rule out the presence of a deficiency of the enzyme lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that is used to digest the milk sugar lactose, present in diary products. Some people are not able to produce this enzyme any longer, and when they consume diary products, the lactose will upset their system. This can result in diarrhea, puffiness, gas, and abdominal pain.

It can be seen that these symptoms are similar to Irritable Bowel Disease, so the health professional must test for lactose intolerance before a diagnosis of IBS is made.