Often IBS is self-diagnosed. While it’s true that people often know their body well, it is important to speak with a medical professional to rule out other more “serious” ailments. IBS is definitely a serious ailment, but if you have other physically obvious ailments that may need immediate attention, it is best to detect them and have them dealt with.

The duration of your symptoms may also be important to note. Most people with IBS have been dealing with the symptoms for quite some time. Symptoms may start out mild and increase in severity as time goes on. If you’ve only had symptoms for a week or two, or maybe less, you probably can’t classify yourself as having IBS quite yet. However, this does not discount the merits of seeing a doctor, especially if you’re still feeling unwell after a typical illness should have run it’s course.

Many people neglect to talk to their doctor due to embarrassment or fear of the medical diagnostics involved. For help with speaking with your doctor please check out the Talking To Your Doctor section.