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Irritable Bowel Syndrome: ROME Criteria

Abstract: What are the criteria of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome: ROME Criteria

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Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 28 Aug 2008.

What are the Rome criteria of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?


According to a consensus of international experts during a meeting in Rome (Italy) the following definition of typical symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) has been published:

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

  1. Abdominal pain or discomfort, e.g:
    • Relieved with defecation
    • Associated with a change in frequency of stool
    • Associated with a change of consistency of stool
  2. Two or more of the following, at least on one-fourth of occasions or days:
    • Altered stool frequency
    • Altered stool form (e.g. watery / loose stools or hard stools)
    • Altered stool passage (sensation of incomplete evacuation after bowel movements, straining, or urging)
    • Passage of mucus
    • Bloating or feeling of abdominal distention
Additional non-colic symptoms might be present in patients with IBS. This might include nausea, feeling full after eating only small amounts of food, urinary urgency, incomplete emptying after urinating, fatigue or pain during sexual intercourse
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