Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) pathway


Dr Charles Heatley, NHS Sheffield CCG

Date Published

Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Date to Review

Thursday, 03 May 2018

Please find a new pathway for the diagnosis and management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Currently a number of patients are referred to gastroenterology when a confident diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome can be made in primary care. To some extent this may reflect a lack of awareness about the resources available to help manage these patients in the community. 

The aims of this pathway are as follows:

  • To help clinicians diagnose irritable bowel syndrome from clinical assessment and basic laboratory investigations.
  • To highlight the use of faecal calprotectin where diagnostic doubt is present (always being aware that for patients with red flag symptoms, appropriate pathways exist)
  • To help clinicians and patients identify sources of information and support for the problem, limiting the need to refer to  secondary care unless there are pressing difficulties or diagnostic doubt
  • To emphasise that self-management of mental health problems are worth considering instead of or alongside medication 

We have been working with STH colleagues on this, along with the IBS network and the community dietician service.

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