Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Signs and Symptoms

What tests are used to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome?

Most of the time, a doctor can diagnose irritable bowel syndrome based on your child’s symptoms, with few or no tests. Eating a lactose-free diet for two weeks may help the doctor check for lactose intolerance.

There is no test to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. But there are tests that may be done to rule out other problems. They include:

  • Blood tests to see if you have Celiac Disease, anemia or signs of malabsorption
  • Breath tests to evaluate bacterial overgrowth or lactose intolerance
  • Stool cultures to check for an infection or inflammation

Other disorders that can cause similar symptoms include:

How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis? 

A specialist in pediatric digestive disorders will perform a thorough history and physical exam and obtain any necessary diagnostic tests to check for other disorders before diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome.