December 8, 2015

Could You Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

By cancerconnect

As featured in Women magazine.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is often confused with another gastrointestinal condition: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder that affects the muscle contractions of the colon. Though painful and frustrating, IBS is not an autoimmune disease and is nowhere near as dangerous as IBD, explains Dr. Kais of Gastro Health of South Florida. IBS is what doctors call a symptom-based diagnosis: “These patients can come in with abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alterations in their bowel habits, but it has no organic cause,” she says. Once doctors rule out IBD, as well as other possible causes, a diagnosis of IBS is given and the focus moves to treating the symptoms to improve quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of IBD

Ulcerative colitis

  • Loose and urgent bowel movements
  • Bloody stool
  • Persistent diarrhea with abdominal pain and blood in the stool
  • Crampy abdominal pain

Crohn’s disease

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Urgent need to move bowels
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation
  • Constipation

General symptoms associated with IBD

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle

Learn more about IBD and IBS at theGIConnection.

If you think you are showing symptoms of IBD, proper testing performed by your doctor can provide a diagnosis.

Tags: crohns disease ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, News Tips and Features, News Tips and Features Other, ulcerative colitis