How Do You Know If You Have IBS?

Jan 28, 2013, 12:16 ET from YorkTest

YORK, England, January 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is now one of the most common problems of the digestive system and about one in six people have symptoms. Most people's symptoms are mild and so they may not see a doctor for treatment. However, some people have really troublesome symptoms which seriously impact their quality of life. The most significant symptoms in IBS are abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habit. Many people with IBS get crampy abdominal discomfort or pain which comes and goes and is often relieved by opening the bowels. Their bowels are often irregular; sometimes diarrhoea or constipation, and quite often swinging between the two extremes, either needing to go to the toilet in a real hurry or not going for days. Other symptoms vary but include bloating, swollen tummy, passing mucous (slime), lacking in energy and sleeping poorly.

YorkTest Laboratories have helped many thousands of people with IBS symptoms to manage their condition with dietary changes, including providing Nutritional Therapist advice on food intolerances and "IBS friendly" diets. For the first time, YorkTest have provided guidance for those who are unsure whether they have IBS or not.

Scientific Director at YorkTest, Dr Gill Hart, says: "Many people think they have IBS but aren't sure. People often get used to their symptoms considering them as 'normal', others aren't sure whether they need to see a Doctor or not, and many have seen their GP and have ruled out any serious cause for their condition but don't know where to turn next. For this reason we have provided people with guidance for them to assess whether they have IBS or not. You are likely to be left to your own devices in terms of managing your IBS unless you have any of the 'alarm symptoms' so we have summarised those too."

IBS is identified as someone having multiple episodes of abdominal pain or discomfort, with a frequency of at least three bouts in the past month for the past three months, and at least two of the three following:

  • Diarrhoea or constipation concurrent with onset of pain
  • Change in the frequency of defaecation concurrent with the onset of pain
  • Abdominal pain stops after defaecation

You are unlikely to have any diagnostic tests for IBS unless you have any "alarm symptoms," which include rectal bleeding, weight loss, anaemia and diarrhoea waking you from sleep, or have a family history of diseases such as colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. If you have any of these then you need to see your GP.

To help identify food intolerances and manage you IBS, help is at hand from YorkTest Laboratories, Europe's leading provider of food and drink intolerance testing with over 30 years' experience. The YorkTest food and drink intolerance test called Food&DrinkScan can uncover potential food and drink triggers, allowing people to simply modify their diets with life changing health benefits.

Food&DrinkScan measures IgG antibody reactions to 158 foods and also ingredients found in beverages. Food&DrinkScan is available to buy online or by phone for £299.

Unlike other many basic tests available, YorkTest customers will be fully supported with their dietary changes. Food&DrinkScan offers comprehensive patient support that includes:

  • Two telephone consultations with a BANT[1] registered nutritional therapist who will offer specific individual advice
  • Help on how to incorporate the recommended diet changes
  • A 12-week food diary with diet tips to help sufferers keep track of the changes they are making to their diet.

Food&DrinkScan can be purchased from  or by calling freephone +44(0)800-074-6185.


1. British Association of Nutritional Therapists

Notes to Editors

YorkTest nutritional helpline service: +44(0)800-074-6185 offers a free intolerance advisory service with access to BANT registered nutritionists, available to anyone wanting to discuss their IBS concerns, or find out more about food intolerance.  

The YorkTest is a simple finger-prick home-to-laboratory service, which offers a solution to identifying up to 158 problem 'trigger foods'. The YorkTest also includes two telephone consultations with a qualified nutritionist who will offer specific individual advice and help on how to incorporate the recommended diet changes. A 12-week food diary with diet tips will also be provided to help sufferers keep track of the changes they are making to their diet.

A First Step Test is available for the offer price of £9.99 (usually £19.99).  Following the First Step, if your result is positive you can then progress to either the FoodScan, which tests for intolerances to 113 trigger foods for £250, or the full Food&DrinkScan for £299.

About Gill:

Dr Gill Hart PhD is a Biochemist with over 25 years' experience in the development and clinical evaluation of diagnostic tests.

Gill started her career as Senior Biochemist at the Hammersmith Hospital and subsequently worked for a number of companies specialising in the development and validation of diagnostic tests for hospital use. Gill joined the YorkTest team in 2005, and has applied her scientific and regulatory knowledge to all YorkTest services, including putting in measures of 'self-regulation' in the under-regulated 'diagnostic testing services' industry.

For more information, please contact Julia Riddle or Sharan Sunner at CCD Healthcare PR +44(0)207-434-4100 or