About IBS Rome III Criteria

On this page you will learn about the IBS ROME CRITERIA in the diagnosis of your functional Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.

This set of criteria was defined by the Rome Foundation, a non-profit organisation that supports research into the condition. There aim is to improve the lives of people, like yourself, with functional disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Here's the criteria for diagnosis below:

The IBS Rome III Criteria

Your FUNCTIONAL condition can be diagnosed by your doctor and is based on at least 12 weeks of symptoms (which need not be consecutive) in the preceding 12 months comprising of:

Abdominal discomfort or Pain with two out of three of the following diagnostic features: 

It's relieved with defecation and/or the:

a) Onset is associated with a change in frequency of stool; and/or

b) Onset is associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool.

IBS Rome III Criteria Picture

The criterion can only be used in DIAGNOSING IBS if there are no so called "red flag" features.

These "red flags" include anemia, weight loss and blood in your stools.

If any of the features are present then the diagnosis is unsound and further investigations such as colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy may be needed.

I would also suggest, if over the age of 50-55 years of age, the diagnosis should be backed up with normal intestinal investigations because the risk of developing other bowel diseases, such as polyps and cancer is increased.

Of course, for most sufferers, the diagnosis is clear. In my experience IBS has usually been self diagnosed, although occasionally this can be wrong. An example of this would be coeliac disease, a condition that can occur at any age and one that has similar symptoms.

The diagnosis should be made by a health professional rather than relying on this set of criteria alone.

If you require more information you can read about this by clicking on the link to go to the to the Rome Website where you can gain further information and advice on this as well as gaining access to a variety of educational materials.

It also outlines various educational events and meetings connected to functional disorders which you may find useful too.

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