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Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome May Be Something Else

Stomach issues are a constant diagnosis problem for doctors across America as so many patients report ongoing symptoms that are sometimes untreatable. One of the most common in this list of digestive disorders is irritable bowel syndrome. Unfortunately, new research has found that while for some this diagnosis may be correct, it isn’t always the problem at hand. Medical News Today reports: “A new study, published in the UEG Journal reveals that 10% of IBD patients are misdiagnosed with IBS and in 3% of cases the misdiagnosis can persist for five or more years. The case-controlled study, conducted in the UK, assessed the proportion of patients with IBS recorded prior to the IBD diagnosis to reveal the alarming statistics.”

The reason behind this study was due to the ongoing symptoms of those diagnosed with IBS, but who found no relief even when following a regimented diet and nutrition plan as outlined by a physician or professional nutritionist. To help patients find relief and determine the true underlying problem for those with stomach pain the team underwent research headed by Michael Scharl, Doctor and spokesman of the United European Gastroenterology foundation.

Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a highly common disorder across North America and Europe, and affects many people, particularly through the large intestine, or colon. Symptoms are wide spread but include pain and cramping in the abdomen region of the stomach, gas, diarrhea, bloating, constipation and other bowel related problems. This tends to be an ongoing chronic condition that requires constant attention in the form of a reduced diet that disregards ingredients which might cause discomfort. The Mayo Clinic says: “It’s not known exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome, but a variety of factors play a role. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food from your stomach through your intestinal tract to your rectum.”

While most people with IBS lead perfectly normal lives without the need for medication of any kind, some do require a prescription. The majority of those affected will be able to cope with the condition through a change in diet, and regular doctor visits. It is especially important to visit a physician when rectal bleeding, pain in the lower abdomen or if you notice a large loss in weight for no explainable reason.

Problematic Diagnoses

Unfortunately, as minimal as IBS is compared to some other stomach disorders such as Crohn’s or Colitis, a misdiagnosis can make a huge difference between whether somebody is getting the help they need or if they may go on in pain, and even find symptoms worsening. One of the worst possible misdiagnoses made in regards to irritable bowel syndrome is when physicians miss things like bowel or colon cancer. The Daily Mail suggests: “That’s because an IBS diagnosis can wrongly be given for a large range of conditions, including bowel and ovarian cancer, Crohn’s disease (a form of inflammatory bowel disease), endometriosis (where womb lining grows outside the womb) and even food allergies such as coeliac disease (an intolerance to the protein gluten).”

The reason for so many undiagnosed stomach conditions is because many of them share the same symptoms and traits, making it tricky for doctors to pinpoint exactly what they are looking for or how to treat it. IBS is the simplest explanation in many cases, and because it is such a common disorder occurring across the world, it’s easy to make this mistake and treat a patient for the wrong issue.

Getting The Treatment You Need

As a patient it is incredible important to be completely candid with your physician about all of the symptoms that occur in your body, even if some of them are embarrassing. Any amount of pain, discomfort, flatulence, blood, or other stomach related symptoms should be reported if they persist and become a chronic issue.

Doctors can’t treat conditions if they are unaware of the problem at hand, but worse than this, they can misdiagnose the condition easily if you are leaving out important information about symptoms and pain. If you find that even after a diagnosis your symptoms are persisting throughout treatment, you should return to your doctor for a second opinion.

Mitchell Cohen, M.D.

Mitchell Cohen, M.D. is Board Certified in Orthopedic Medicine and Spinal Surgery. Dr. Cohen graduated from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, PA with a degree in Human Physiology in 1983 and received his medical degree in 1987 from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr Cohen did his Surgical Residency at the University of New Mexico in 1992 as well as a Spine Fellowship in 1993. Dr. Cohen has also published several publications which include “Biomechanical Efficiency of Spinal Systems in Thorocolumbar Fractures” (1993), “Kaneda Anterior Spinal Instrumentation” and “Spinal Fusion Stabilization and many more publications. Dr. Cohen enjoys and has a passion for telehealth and teleconsults and he truly believes it is the way of the future of medicine especially from a convenience standpoint. View the bio in detail.

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