While inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have similar names, they are two different conditions.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is defined as a group of symptoms. These include common bowel issues, such as diarrhea, cramping and bloating. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is classified as a functional disorder, and is not caused by any disease. It may be caused by a meal that didn’t agree with your body, or an infection in the digestive tract. Irritable Bowel Syndrome does not produce inflammation in the bowels and frequently goes away on its own.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is much less common than IBS. It is characterized by chronic inflammation in the digestive tract, which can be isolated to one area or spread throughout. Inflammatory Bowel Disease can lead to other harmful conditions, such as anal fistulas or malnutrition. It also produces symptoms that are similar to IBS, such as diarrhea or nausea. At the Colorectal Center Los Angeles, we can rapidly diagnose your symptoms to determine if you have IBD or IBS.

IBD & IBS symptoms:

Because IBD and IBS share many symptoms, the chart below can help you distinguish between the two. If you have any questions or concerns, our representatives at the Colorectal Center Los Angeles will be happy to help.

Symptom IBD IBS
Cramping abdominal pain X X
Nausea X X
Bloating and gas   X
Headache   X
Rectal pain X X
Backache   X
Appetite loss X X
Diarrhea X X
Constipation   X
Fatigue X X
Difficulty concentrating X X
Fever X  
Bloody stool X  
Pain or stiffness in the knees X  
Canker sores X  
Eye inflammation X  
Rectal swelling X  
Delayed development in younger teens X  

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