What are the Rome Criteria for Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

More than a disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a symptom of another disease. It is confused for many other conditions of digestive system disorders. In diagnosis or differential diagnosis of IBS, the physicians consider several physiological things. In 1978, researchers began to look more closely at IBS a serious disease and not just a small psychosomatic problem.

The Need for Criteria:

Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is a process of exclusion. It is usually done by ruling out all other causes of symptoms such as infection or disease. But, sometimes this process is time consuming and costly. It is not a very convenient process for patients as well as for the physicians. Physicians felt a need of a criteria that can be used for diagnosis of IBS.

Rome Criteria for IBS

For the above reason, a meeting was held in Rome (Italy) hosting international experts to standardize the definition of irritable bowel syndrome. They have published following criteria as definition of IBS:

At least 3 months duration with recurrent or continuous symptoms of:

Abdominal pain or discomfort, for example:

  • Relieved with defecation
  • Associated with a change in frequency of stool
  • Associated with a change of consistency of stool

Two or more of the following, at least on one-fourth of occasions or days:

  • Altered stool frequency
  • Altered stool form (loose, watery stools or hard stools)
  • Altered stool passage (sensation of incomplete evacuation after bowel movements, comprising straining, or urging)
  • Passage of mucus
  • Bloating or feeling of abdominal distention

The above criteria are not the only indicators of IBS. Other extra intestinal symptoms of IBS are:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Full sensation after a small meal

The first version of Rome criteria was not that widely accepted. The second version was created in 1992 and known as

Rome II,

which added pain as an indicator and also a length of time for symptoms as important in the criteria. The second revision, known as

Rome III,

is yet to be published.

4 responses to What are the Rome Criteria for Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

  1. irritable bowel is really a very annoying disease.””.

  2. i am also suffering from irritable bowel and this disease really pisses me off”*’

  3. i suffered from irritable bowel and that was a horrible experience

  4. irritable bowel is really bad, this disease can really crap your digestive system .:,