Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common problem and is often self-diagnosed by patients. It is also a common topic seen on the boards. The official definition of IBS was made by the Rome Foundation as the Rome III Diagnostic Criterion. A patient has to fit this definition for at least the last 3 months, with initial symptoms starting at least 6 months prior to the diagnosis.
IBS is defined by the presence of abdominal pain or discomfort occurring at least 3 days a month in the last 3 months accompanied by two or more of the following:
Increase or decrease in amount of stool
Better with excretion
Shape of stool changes
As you can see above, a simple mnemonic to remember these criteria is IBS!
“Rome III Diagnostic Criteria for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.” Rome Foundation. Web. 26 May 2014. <http://www.romecriteria.org/assets/pdf/19_RomeIII_apA_885-898.pdf>.