What symptoms are inconsistent with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and suggest an alternative diagnosis?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Jenifer K Lehrer, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Symptoms not consistent with irritable bowel syndrome should alert the clinician to the possibility of an organic pathology. Inconsistent symptoms include the following:

  • Onset in middle age or older

  • Acute symptoms (irritable bowel syndrome is defined by chronicity)

  • Progressive symptoms

  • Nocturnal symptoms

  • Anorexia or weight loss

  • Fever

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Painless diarrhea

  • Steatorrhea

  • Gluten intolerance

See Presentation for more detail.


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