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Digestive System Diseases: The Difference Between Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

By    |   Friday, 29 Apr 2016 06:44 PM

There are many digestive system diseases that can affect your health and quality of life. These disorders can sometimes have many characteristics in common, so it can be confusing to differentiate them. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) share some common symptoms, but they are different.

According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, IBS is a syndrome, not a disease. This means that it is characterized by a group of symptoms that produce a disturbance in bowel function. It is very common, especially among women, affecting as many as 20 percent of all American adults.

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IBS does no permanent damage to the gastrointestinal tract and is not associated with inflammation. Its symptoms can vary widely among patients, but some common symptoms include chronic abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating and gas, and increased mucous in the stool.

Unlike irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease is associated with chronic inflammation in the intestines and is usually referred to as either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, explains Cleveland Clinic.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that usually begins in the ileum of the small intestine and can spread in a spotty pattern throughout the bowels. Patients often experience pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, fever, weight loss, and chronic diarrhea.

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Ulcerative colitis affects only the large intestine. It begins in the rectum and spreads in a uniform fashion from there. Ulcerative colitis results in chronic diarrhea that becomes bloody.

IBS can be difficult to treat with medication because the cause of the symptoms is not known. For these patients, dietary and lifestyle changes seem to be most effective, says Healthline.

For IBD
, the goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation in the intestines, but specific treatment for this digestive system disease depends on which type of IBD is diagnosed.

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There are many digestive system diseases that can affect your health and quality of life. These disorders can sometimes have many characteristics in common, so it can be confusing to differentiate them.
digestive system disease, difference, IBD, IBS
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2016-44-29
Friday, 29 Apr 2016 06:44 PM
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