It’s been a long and difficult road for many who suffer from a disease they neither understand nor have been able to acquire a diagnosis. There is a significant crossover of signs and symptoms among gastrointestinal conditions and diseases that cause a burdensome diagnostic journey for the person trying to determine the cause of their illness.
Long overdue, a new test not only determines if a person has a diarrheal form of IBS, but distinguishes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) from Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) with more than a 90% degree of confidence—a very important feature of the test. Of the four types of IBS, there are two types associated with diarrhea, IBS-D and IBS-M. Discovered by the Gastroenterology Motility Unit of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, two antibody biomarkers have been identified that definitively link to these diarrheal forms of IBS. The biomarkers, anti-CdtB and anti-vinculin, can be detected in the blood of a person with signs and symptoms of IBS by a blood test called ibs-smart. With a high positive predictive value of nearly 99%, the blood test has the capability to rule-in IBS and rule-out IBD. For the patient whose non-specific symptoms have caused them to undergo extensive testing and colonoscopies to exclude disease, the benefit of identifying IBS vs. IBD is valuable knowledge that now enables and guides appropriate clinical management.
To get the test, is easy. In the U.S., the ibs-smart test is ordered by a healthcare provider, the patient’s blood sample is then drawn at a local blood collection site and forwarded to the CLIA-certified PacificDx Clinical Molecular Laboratory in Irvine California for testing. Although the ibs-smart test is covered by many insurers, a patient should always check with their specific insurer to determine coverage of the test.