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How do I know if I have IBS?

Father and daughter cooking healthy food in a kitchen
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IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a chronic gut condition that affects 1 in 20 people in the UK. Although the exact cause is unknown, it has been linked to stress, oversensitive nerves in your gut or even family history. Read our blog for more information on what causes IBS.

Testing for IBS

There is no specific test for IBS, but your doctor may arrange other tests to rule out things, such as a blood test to check for coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and infection. If you book an appointment with your GP to talk about your IBS symptoms you may be asked:

  • what symptoms you have
  • if they come and go
  • how often you get them
  • when you get them (eg. after eating certain foods)
  • how long you've had the symptoms for

Tips to relieve your IBS symptoms

Here a few tips you can try to help relieve symptoms of IBS:

Shop IBS relief

How to monitor your IBS symptoms

If you think you might have IBS keep a food diary to help you and your GP identify the types of food that may be triggering your symptoms. Simply jot down what you had for each meal plus drinks and snacks. Fill it in sooner rather than later after each meal, to prevent forgetting what you ate. Go in to as much detail as you can, not forgetting to include portion sizes and how the food was prepared. Try and keep the food diary for at least 2 weeks, including two weekends. If you're eating at a restaurant or at friend’s house don’t forget to take it with you. And, remember to be honest!

Download our IBS food diary

Online Doctor VideoGP

References

www.gutscharity.org.uk/2021/03/ibs-awareness-month-2021
www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/monitor-symptoms-food-diary
www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/getting-diagnosed