IBS vs IBD: What’s the Difference
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an ongoing inflammatory condition that affects the intestines. It has three subtypes known as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and indeterminate colitis. Diseased intestines will be swollen, red, and less functional, reducing the overall efficiency of digestion.
There is a rare four type of IBD known as microscopic colitis, inflammatory signs which microscopic studies can only reveal.
IBD patients will generally experience pain, bloating, cramps in the abdomen, recurrent episodes of bloody diarrhea, weight loss, and easy fatigue. Some people may also complain of a high fever, vomiting, and signs of anemia such as paleness and shortness of breath due to the chronic loss of blood that is particularly seen in Crohn’s disease. IBD can also lead to extraintestinal manifestations, such as joint pain and redness of the eye.
Patients who experience frequent episodes of these signs and symptoms should see a doctor. These conditions will be diagnosed by a complete history of the patient and a complete physical examination followed by imaging studies such as CT and MRI. Some patients may need a biopsy to rule out malignant tumors.
The hallmark of IBD treatment includes symptomatic management and prevention of relapses or returns. Aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants are the most widely used drugs.
What is IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is defined as a functional disorder that occurs without identifiable etiology and is characterized by vague gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, constipation, and diarrhea. These patients will also complain of a higher frequency of loose stools of normal volume but associated with pain in the lower right part of the abdomen.
Based on the prevalence of symptoms, IBS can be predominantly constipation, predominantly diarrhea, or predominantly pain. A notable and characteristic feature of IBS is the relationship it has with stress; Acute stressful events often result in worsening of symptoms associated with IBS.
Being a clinical diagnosis made by a thorough history and examination, followed by the exclusion of other similar diseases, IBS is often treated with lifestyle modifications that include dietary changes where patients must know how to avoid food that aggravates their symptoms. You can get the best holistic treatments for irritable bowel syndrome.
The severe symptoms and signs of IBS may require drug therapy that includes intestinal antispasmodics such as hyoscyamine or dicyclomine HCL.
Difference between IBD and IBS
IBD is a condition characterized by inflammation of the intestinal system.
IBS is certainly not a true disease but a functional disorder that presents vague GI symptoms, such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and cramps.
IBD patients may also have extraintestinal manifestations and abdominal pain, cramps, rectal bleeding, etc., unlike IBS, in which the characteristics are only distributed in the intestines area. However, some IBS patients may experience weight loss due to malabsorption and food avoidance due to possible worsening of symptoms after meals.
The treatment for these two conditions is the same, but IBD is primarily treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, as the pathology is related to long-term inflammation, unlike IBS. You might be surprised to know that naturopaths promoting themselves online as helping with both conditions.
IBD patients might have to undergo surgery if the disease does not respond well to medications.
IBS does not need such interventions.