An accurate diagnosis of IBS is necessary, so that symptoms can be properly managed. Diagnosis should occur as soon as possible; however, 43% of people with IBS suffered for at least 5 years before a diagnosis was made. Diagnosing and managing symptoms requires a proper team of healthcare professionals, including IBS specialists.
About half of the people with IBS who consulted a physician received a diagnosis. Although awareness and knowledge of IBS differed between IBS specialist, to diagnose IBS most physicians will use your medical history, a physical examination, specific IBS diagnostic criteria, and exclusion of other diseases
Approximately 57% of people with IBS were treated for their IBS symptoms mainly by a primary care physician.1 Most people seen by a primary care physician are diagnosed and not referred to a specialist.3 An almost similar percentage (53%) of people with IBS was cared for by a gastrointestinal specialist. A gastroenterologist is a physician dedicated to managing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. In a study of physician’s knowledge of diagnostic criteria and red flag signs, gastroenterologist were most knowledgeable about IBS.4 People may also see a urologist or gynecologists. A urologist is a specialist that deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and male reproductive organs. A gynecologist is knowledgeable about the female reproductive system.