Irritable Bowel Syndrome
International diagnostic criteria, Rome IV, released May 2016
Recurrent abdominal pain at least 1 day/week in the last
3 months associated with two or more of the following:
1. Related to defecation
2. change in frequency of stool
3. change in form (appearance) of stool
* Criteria fulfilled for the last 3 months with symptom onset
at least 6 months prior to diagnosis
The Rome Foundation is an independent not for profit 501(c) 3 organization that provides support for activities designed to create scientific data and educational information to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). Our mission is to improve the lives of people with functional GI disorders.
Over the last 19 years, the Rome organization has sought to legitimize and update our knowledge of the FGIDs. This has been accomplished by bringing together scientists and clinicians from around the world to classify and critically appraise the science of gastrointestinal function and dysfunction. This knowledge permits clinical scientists to make recommendations for diagnosis and treatment that can be applied in research and clinical practice.
The Rome Foundation is committed to the continuous development, legitimization and preservation of the field of FGIDs through science-based activities. We are inclusive and collaborative, patient-centered, innovative and open to new ideas. (From the Rome Foundation website. Quoted with permission)
International functional GI experts finalized Rome IV, the first major update to the Rome criteria since 2006, in December 2014 in Rome, Italy. Rome IV was published in the journal Gastroenterology in May 2016 and officially presented to the gastroenterology professional community at the Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego, California, USA on May 21-25, 2016. For information and links on Rome IV details that are currently public, please see the following IBS Impact posts:
“Behind the Scenes at Rome IV Foundation” Video Humanizes Functional GI Experts, (February 23, 2015)
Other important information on the nature of IBS, symptoms, diagnosis and standards of medical care can be found below.
IBS Impact blog post Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Is Not a Diagnosis of Exclusion
IBS Impact blog post An Evolving Redefinition of Severity in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS Impact blog post 15 Common Misconceptions That Shouldn’t Exist About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS Impact blog post Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and the Myth of a Cure
IFFGD International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
National professional organization guidelines for the diagnosis and/or treatment of IBS
In the United States: American College of Gastroenterology – August 2014
In the United Kingdom: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence–February 2015
In Australia: Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) 2006
IBS – Beyond the Bowel: The Meaning of Co-existing Medical Problems
Olafur S. Palsson, Psy.D. and William E. Whitehead, Ph.D.
UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders
UNC-CH Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center (lots of good information on a variety of issues)
Educational GI Handouts
Brennan M.R. Spiegel, MD, MSHS
2007 IFFGD Research Award Recipient
then at VA Greater Los Angeles Health System and David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, now at Cedars-Sinai Health System and UCLA
The article states that Rome international diagnostic criteria for IBS, based on symptoms, are considered to be 98% accurate. Extensive testing of all people with potential IBS is unnecessary and discouraged, and is usually appropriate only for a few subgroups at higher risk of different GI disorders. Unfortunately studies show that health care providers in local communities are much more likely than IBS/functional GI specialists to still believe erroneously that IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion requiring many tests to rule out other conditions.
Last update to IBS page: March 2017