Difficult to Interpret Intestinal Complaints
Disorders of gastrointestinal function such as the irritable bowel syndrome or functional constipation, diarrhea, or bloating are characterized by no structural abnormality. In these cases, diagnosis depends entirely upon the history, and diagnostic tests, if needed at all, are done to rule out inflammations, tumors and other anatomic gut disease. Accurate diagnosis depends upon how accurately the individual describes his or her symptoms, and how skillfully the doctor interprets them. Reviewed and updated 2009.