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Irritable Bowel Syndrome J010

Last amended 
18 July 2016
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
27 of 2011
Balance of Probabilities SOP
28 of 2011
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 150

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 564.1
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: K58
Brief description

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder, characterised by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habit, in the absence of any organic cause.

Confirming the diagnosis 

The diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome can only be made if possible organic causes for the presenting symptoms (such as diverticular disease, cancer or inflammatory bowel disease) have been ruled out.  Symptoms such as rectal bleeding, nocturnal or progressive pain, nocturnal diarrhoea and weight loss are not compatible with a diagnosis of IBS.  Physical examination, routine pathology tests and findings on colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy (gross appearance and histology) must all be normal for the SOP to be applied.

The relevant medical specialist is a gastroenterologist.

Additional diagnoses covered by these SOPs
  • Nil
Related conditions that may be covered by these SOPs (further information required)
  • mucous colitis
  • spastic colon
  • spastic bowel
Conditions not covered by these SOPs
  • inflammatory bowel disease*

* another SOP applies

Clinical onset

Once the diagnositc criteria in the SOP have been fulfilled the clinical onset can be backdated to when the relevant symptoms commenced.

Clinical worsening

Clinical worsening of IBS would be evidenced by an increase in the severity or frequency of symptoms.  The condition has a chronic course.  Symptoms can generally be controlled with diet or lifestyle modifications or medications.