An innovative acoustic belt that was initially designed to listen to the sounds of termites eating might help doctors to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome more easily.
The sounds produced by the gut may help to diagnose IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gut disorder, affecting 10–20 percent of the population.
Characterized by abdominal discomfort or pain, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating, the exact causes of IBS are difficult to pin down.
Diagnosis is equally tricky, and, currently, there are no reliable tests. Doctors can only rule out other conditions.
For instance, blood analysis may be used to identify celiac disease or another condition that might explain the symptoms, and stool samples can rule out inflammatory bowel disorder or infections.
Another option is a colonoscopy, which allows doctors to visually inspect the bowel, but it is an invasive procedure that can be painful.
Because of these difficulties, IBS often goes undiagnosed, and people do not receive treatment that could potentially relieve their symptoms.