Diagnostic Criteria for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the large number of unexplained medical illnesses that form the bulk of todays medical practice. These include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia syndrome, unexplained backache, functional dyspepsia, depression and many others. I regard each of these illnesses to be the variable expressions of the same state of mind-body dysphoria, what in the past might have been termed neurasthenia, melancholia, hypochondria, irritable weakness, the spleen or hysteria. I have therefore written several critiques of the Rome diagnostic criteria for IBS.

  1. Read, N.W. (1987). Functional gastroenterological disorders. The Name’s the thing. Gut 28: 1-4.
  2. Read, N.W. (1987). In: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Scand. J. Gastroenterol. Supplement 130, pp.7-13.
  3. Read, N.W. (1990) Functional gastrointestinal disorders: building castles in the air. Gastroenterology International 3 (4): 182-183.
  4. Read NW. Enough is Enough! (A response to the debate ‘Do the Rome Criteria Stand Up’) Falk Symposium 1997. The Irritable Bowel Syndrome (2001). Chapter 90. Sleisenger and Fordtrans’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, edition 7. Eds Mark Feldman, Lawrence Friedman and Marvin Sleisenger. Harcourt Health Sciences.