10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor About IBS

Let's be fair - we can't ask our doctors for an IBS cure. Currently, there isn't one (except possibly gut-directed hypnotherapy, which is well-researched and which your doctor should definitely know about).

But, since IBS is a disorder that we, the patients, must manage on a daily basis, these are the questions to ask for help with that!



  • 1. Do my symptoms match those required for an IBS diagnosis following the Rome Guidelines?

  • 2. Have you run the tests necessary to rule out:

    • Colon and carcinoid cancer
    • Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis)
    • Bowel obstructions
    • Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis
    • Gallstones
    • Food allergies, intolerances, and malabsorptions (fructose, lactose, etc.)
    • Celiac (a genetic, autoimmune disorder resulting in gluten intolerance)
    • Bacterial infections and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
    • Intestinal parasites
    • Endometriosis
    • Ovarian cancer

  • 3. Do you recommend prescription drugs? What if they don't work? What about side effects?

  • 4. What about diet?

  • 5. What about stress management?

  • 6. What about alternative therapies?

  • 7. What types of natural supplements do you recommend?

  • 8. Do you know of any Irritable Bowel Syndrome support groups in my area?

  • 9. Can you recommend any good books, literature, and websites on the subject?

  • 10. What do you think is the best way to comprehensively manage my symptoms?

  • Need more information? Check The First Year: IBS book.

Tip Takeaway: IBS can be self-managed, but it cannot be self-diagnosed. Your doctor should give you both a solid IBS diagnosis AND point the way to information you need to successfully live with it!

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