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Table 1 The criteria for the diagnosis Irritable Bowel Syndrome according to the Rome II and III consensus

From: Development and psychometric testing of the Visual Analogue Scale for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (VAS-IBS)

Rome II: At least 12 weeks, which need not be consecutive, in the preceding 12 months, of abdominal discomfort or pain that has two of three features:
Rome III: At least 3 months, with onset at least 6 months previously of recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort associated with 2 or more of the following:
(1) Relieved with defecation; and/or
(2) Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool; and/or
(3) Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool.
Supportive symptoms:
1. Fewer than 3 bowel movements a week
2. More than 3 bowel movements a day
3. Hard or lumpy stools
4. Loose (mushy) or watery stools
5. Straining during a bowel movement
6. Urgency (having to rush to have a bowel movement)
7. Feeling of incomplete bowel movement
8. Passing mucus (white material) during a bowel movement
9. Abdominal fullness, bloating or swelling
  1. (Rome II: Thompson et al. 1999; p1144, Rome III: Chang 2006).