So you have suffered with uncomfortable bloating for several years now. You are sick of having to choose what you wear based on how bloated your stomach may or may not be a few hours from now. Something has happened to make you FINALLY say NO MORE!
Great, but what next?
You need to get tested for IBS. But, what tests do you need to get? Isn’t this going to be expensive? What about those allergy blood tests that you seen online?
This is a confusing time and I will warn you now – you are in a vulnerable place. So take note of what I am about to say in this post.
Essential Testing For IBS
There is no such thing as a test to diagnose IBS. IBS is a collection of symptoms, it does not involve the immune system and it does not involve inflammation. So there is nothing to test for.
So what am I going on about? Well, the symptoms of IBS are rather vague – bloating, changes in your bowel motions and stomach pain. Your symptoms could be ANYTHING.
Instead of guessing and going undiagnosed for coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease or even cancer – we need to get other conditions ruled out.
To do this, I would recommend tests as per NICE guidelines (1).
A blood test known as CRP will be needed. This indicates inflammation in your body which will happen in inflammatory bowel disease and cancer, amongst other conditions.
If your CRP is raised, your doctor will use this as an indicator to order more invasive tests such as cameras.
Your white blood cells will be looked at. If these are high, this will indicate an infection and your doctor may then decide you need medications or further investigations to clear this up.
Total immunological immunoglobin A (IgA) and IgA tissue transglutaminase are blood tests which can diagnose coeliac disease. You must be eating gluten for this to be accurate though so please do not cut it out of your diet beforehand.
If your test comes back positively then you will need a further camera test to take a biopsy of your small bowel.
This test will detect small amounts of blood in your stools. This can indicate conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and again you will need further examinations should this come back positive (2).
What Tests Should I Avoid For IBS?
So, there are many scams out there and you are in a vulnerable place – probably willing to pay anything just to feel ‘normal’ again. But, please avoid the following tests so you can get those results safely and accurately.
There are two types of allergy – IgE mediated (anaphylactic) and non-IgE mediated (can cause digestive symptoms). The non-IgE mediated allergies can not be tested for so please save your money on the multiple scams available on the market.
If you have a non-IgE mediated allergy then you will need to do an elimination diet to get a diagnosis.
You can read more about this here.
Other than the test your doctor may do for infections, the stool tests you see on the market are inaccurate. They will provide you with misleading information such as ‘candida’ diagnosis which can only be diagnosed through an endoscopy. Or they may claim you have ‘dysbiosis’ which doesn’t actually exist seeing as we don’t know what a ‘normal’ microbiome is yet.
You can read more about this here.
When you are trying to get to the bottom of your symptoms, you are in a vulnerable place. You would do or pay anything just to get that relief. But, please don’t fall for the clever marketing – you deserve to sort this problem out safely and accurately.
If you have had the above essential tests and would now like to Take Control of your symptoms then join my program so I can guide you safely through the low FODMAP diet.