IBS Diagnosis Table

Wondering if you actually have IBS? Use this self-diagnosis table! Sources and table from my big IBS post.

Note that the more of these conditions that you have, the more likely the diagnosis is. So, if you take the first example, an obese smoker on prednisone with constipation is more likely to have diverticulitis than a skinny non-smoker with diarrhea.

Also, please note that I’ve italicized the most important parts of a diagnosis. For example, unexplained weight loss is a pretty big warning sign for colon cancer and Chron’s. If you just have diarrhea and don’t have unexplained weight loss, neither colon cancer or Crohn’s are likely (but they’re still possible).

IBS Diagnosis Table

If you haveOr if you areThen you might have
Bloating OR constipation OR diarrhea OR bright blood in your stoolObese OR a smoker OR a user of anti-inflammatories/steroidsDiverticulitis
Constipation OR diarrhea OR unexplained weight loss OR fatigueOver the age of 45 (especially over the age of 65) OR have a history of cancerColon cancer
Bloody diarrhea Ulcerative colitis
Diarrhea OR unexplained anemia OR fever OR unexplained weight loss OR growth retardationCrohn’s disease
Joint pain OR cold intolerance OR constipationOR depression OR heavy menstrual flow OR unexplained weight gain or fatigue OR hair lossFemaleHypothyroidism
Diarrhea AND nausea OR vomiting OR weight lossIn an area with poor water quality or food hygiene standardsGiardia
Abdominal bloating OR gas OR  distension OR diarrheaA user of proton pump inhibitors (e.g. Prilosec) OR opioids OR gastric bypass OR colectomySmall intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Diarrhea OR bloating OR fatigue OR anemia OR unexplained blisters (dermatitis herpetiformis)Type 1 diabeticCeliac disease
DiarrheaBile acid malabsorption
ConstipationOver 65 OR African American OR pregnant/a motherDyssnergic defecation
Abdominal pain and bloating OR gas OR watery stool following the ingestion of foods containing lactoseBlack, Latino, or AsianLactose intolerance
Diarrhea OR constipation OR brain fog OR joint/muscle pain, OR skin rash/dermatitisFemale OR in the third to fourth decade of lifeNon celiac gluten sensitivity
Nausea and vomiting OR feeling of fullness or burning in your stomach OR blood in your vomit or stool.In an area with poor water quality or food hygiene standardsH. pylori
Constipation OR diarrhea OR nausea OR a feeling of early fullnessA motility disorder, like slow transit constipation
**RARE CONDITIONS FOLLOW BELOW (you probably don’t have these)**
Constipation since early childhoodHirschsprung’s disease
Chronic or intermittent watery diarrhea OR unexplained weight loss, OR joint painOver 65 OR femaleMicroscopic colitis
Flushing OR diarrhea OR shortness of breath OR palpitationCarcinoid syndrome (part of carcinoid tumors)
Nausea OR vomiting, OR diarrhea OR anemia OR weight lossEosinophilic gastroenteritis

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