Irritable bowel syndrome
Because the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome could be symptoms of a different disease, it is crucial that you consult a doctor, who will obtain a thorough medical history, perform a full physical examination of your child and obtain screening laboratories to assess for infection and inflammation.
Tests and procedures that your child's physician may order may include the following:
- blood tests to evaluate whether your child is anemic, has an infection or has an illness caused by inflammation or irritation.
- urine analysis and culture to help assess for urinary tract infections
- stool sample to check for bacteria and parasites that may cause diarrhea
- stool samples for occult blood—occult blood cannot be seen and is only detected by a special solution that turns blue when coming into contact with blood; it suggests an inflammatory source in the gastrointestinal tract
- lactose breath hydrogen test to determine if your child is intolerant to lactose, a sugar present in milk and milk products
- abdominal x-ray, a simple study that will give the physician an idea of how the internal organs look
- abdominal ultrasound, a diagnostic imaging technique that creates images from the rebound of high frequency sound waves in the internal organs
- endoscopy, a test that uses a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope) to examine the inside of part of the digestive tract
- colonoscopy, a test that uses a long, flexible tube with a light and camera lens at the end (colonoscope) to examine inside the large intestine