Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > NICE Recommends Test for Bowel Disease

NICE Recommends Test for Bowel Disease

Posted 03 October 2013 | By Louise Zornoza

The UK's cost containment agency, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has issued guidance advising doctors to use the faecal calprotectin test as an option to distinguish between potentially serious inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and less serious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

According to NICE, the test will reduce both the time spent searching for a diagnosis and the invasive procedures currently used such as colonoscopy. It is also likely to reduce the demands on colonoscopy departments, which will be able to focus on people being investigated for more serious conditions such as bowel cancer.

Patients complaining of lower bowel symptoms such as chronic abdominal pain or discomfort, with diarrhea or constipation, are common in family doctors' surgeries. Most patients have IBS, which is a troublesome and painful condition. It typically causes abdominal pain, discomfort and bloating and although it can reduce quality of life it does not have serious effects in terms of damage to the bowel. However, some patients have IBD, which can lead to serious complications. For example, over half of people with Crohn's disease, a type of IBD, will need surgery within 10 years of diagnosis. People with IBD also have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

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Tags: UK

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