One of the biggest questions that those with digestive issues may have is what is the difference between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?
Although the two acronyms may look very similar, there are some major differences between the two. Both produce different symptoms and have different treatments. Therefore, it’s important to speak with your doctor to find out which one you have to ensure you get the correct care to treat your particular condition.
For the purposes of this blog post, we will discuss both conditions, so you can have a better idea of how they affect the body.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Of the two conditions, IBS is by far the more common. IBS is a condition that affects the large intestine. Unlike IBD, IBS does not change the bowel tissue in the body. It is a chronic condition though, and it can produce some uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain
- and more.
Usually, IBS is treated through changes in diet, an increased intake of fiber, and elimination of foods that cause the symptoms. There are several medications available that may be prescribed in certain situations, particularly when the symptoms are affecting an individual’s lifestyle.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is usually either or both or two specific conditions: Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis. Both are conditions that can affect the small and large intestines, as well as the stomach, mouth, and anus. Basically, there is inflammation in part of or across the entire GI tract. The symptoms for IBD are generally more severe than IBS. These symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss
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