Hi mdgirl :)
There are some docs that will not go through all the tests and will give you an IBS diagnosis without them. These docs are mostly not gastroenterologists though, these would mostly be your family docs. It is true that most doctors can have a good hunch that you have IBS based on your symptoms and are usually right on the money after they ask you questions however the good doctors will rule everthing out. A "diagnosis of exclusion" is exactly that. They will exclude everything before giving you an IBS dx. They can't exclude without doing tests. Now the extent of tests vary from doctor to doctor. I have heard of doctors only doing a fecal occult blood test to rule out other things before giving an IBS dx. My doctor did more though. I have had a fecal occult blood test, thyroid test (they do this when constipation is an issue), barium enema, and colonoscopy. I will tell you that I have had IBS for 16 years and was just given a Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis this year. I also have diverticulosis which would have never been found without doing my barium enema (my UC would not have been found without my colonscopy).
A colonoscopy is really not that bad. The worse part is the prep and now thats really not that bad if you get the right prep. I don't like the golightly and phospho which I have used many times and for my last colonoscopy, I was given the option of the pills. I'm so glad I did, swallowing pills was much better. I would suggest some testing to rule out other things and to give you peace of mind.
I hoped this helped a little.
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
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