Testing for IBS/Other digestive problems what's involved?

I was told by the specialist that he was 95% certain I had IBS but that to confirm for certain he would need to do further testing I.e the camera. I decided as he was so sure it was IBS not to go through the tests. But now I am considering it, as I feel I am getting worse not better. But I am nervous, what is involved in the testing process and what other tests do they do other than the camera? Has anyone else been through this?

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  • The procedure that you are talking about is called the "Endoscopy" and it consists of a tube about the thickness of your small finger that has attached to it a camera and possibly small tools that can be used, for example, in the obtaining of samples for biopsy. This procedure is the main one that is used in the diagnose of digestive tract disorders. I have had this procedure twice now and i may well have to have it a third time. I cannot in all honesty say that it is a pleasant experience but non the less i would also say that if i have to have it done then i will so willingly as the end justifies the means. If, as you say you are, are nervous than i would recommend that you ask to be sedated and then you will hardly know that you have had it done, i personally have never been sedated i have just had the spray on the back of my throat and what they then do is to put a small block with a hole in it between your teeth through which they pass the tube which then goes down your throat and the examination commences.The best thing to do, if you are aware of it, is to swallow as they pass the tube down your throat, the procedure takes about five minutes or so. What ever you do DO NOT be put off by any fear or by what others may tell you its not that bad and like i say the end justifies the means, go for it and have it done, sincere regards Rolandki.

  • Thank you for this information I'm going to go back and talk to doctors again next week.

  • The thing with IBS is that it is a diagnosis of exclusion so the only way to diagnose it is to test for everything else that can be tested for. An IBS diagnosis is given when all other tests come back negative for their respective conditions. My hospital would not give a definitive IBS diagnosis without me having an endoscopy and colonoscopy to rule out other conditions.

    You haven't said which one you're having so If the worry is about what is going to be done during an endoscopy/colonoscopy, then I hope to alleviate some of your worry! I was really scared when I had them done the first time but I felt that the end result was worth it. Just to know there wasn't something worse going on made me feel able to have them done.

    Colonoscopy is the easiest in my opinion; you lie there while they move a camera around in your colon. It wasn't too bad really, just a little uncomfortable, plus it was pretty cool to see my insides!

    The endoscopy (the one into your stomach) can be done under sedation so a) you won't feel anything and b) you won't remember anything! They also numb the back of your throat so while it isn't the most comfortable experience, you're not is any pain or distress. I asked to be sedated because I was so scared about it and the only thing I had afterwards was a little bit of pain in my throat and a lot of drool in my hair! :P

  • Hi Eliza, I have had an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy and was sedated for the Endoscopy and the only unpleasant thing I found was the spray on the back of my throat, this only lasted seconds - I don't remember the procedure at all. When I had the Colonoscopy I had to drink a chalk like liquid for about a couple of days, it was easy to take, and you then have a fairly restrictive diet for a couple of days but I didn't find that a problem. I agree with kiwimiwi in that the procedure was really interesting, it's really fascinating to see your insides.

    My advice is to have both tests to rule out any other medical reasons.

    Best of luck.

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