When it comes to gastrointestinal diseases, we often hear many terms like IBD and IBS. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to chronic inflammation (inflammation) of the intestines.

Often people consider inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as one and the same and are not able to differentiate between them. Although both the problems have similar names and similar symptoms, there are important differences between them and you will learn about these differences today in this article.

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  1. Main Features of IBD and IBS
  2. What is IBD?
  3. What is IBS?
  4. Symptoms of IBS and IBD
  5. Where Does The Pain Occur In IBS and IBD?
  6. Diagnosis of IBS and IBD
  7. Causes of IBS and IBD
  8. Complications with IBD and IBS
  9. Summary

IBD and IBS are two different conditions. However, if a person has one of these, they may also have symptoms of the other. It is also important to know that both conditions can occur at the same time. Both are considered chronic conditions. Both conditions can occur in anyone at any age, but are most often genetic.

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves long-term inflammation in various parts of the digestive tract. The most common form of IBD is ulcerative colitis.

IBD is classified into two forms:

  • Ulcerative colitis (UC) – In this condition the mucosal layer of the colon becomes inflamed. It usually involves the rectum and may spread to other parts of the colon.
  • Crohn's disease (CD) – CD can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to your anus. Symptoms of Crohn's disease can also include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.

The second form of IBD, is diagnosed when tests cannot first identify which form of IBD it is. Most cases of indeterminate colitis eventually progress to a diagnosis of CD or UC.

For both of these conditions, there is no cure currently available, but they can be controlled with medication.

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. People with IBS have no clinical symptoms and test results are normal.

IBS has many physical symptoms, but its causes are not well understood. Researchers are currently looking into some possible causes, such as:

  • Food intolerances (such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, or gluten)
  • reaction from previous infection

  • bacterial overgrowth

  • Tension

Sometimes, IBS symptoms are called mucous colitis or spastic colitis. Colitis is an inflammation of the colon, and IBS does not cause inflammation.

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These conditions have many similar symptoms, which sometimes makes treatment difficult. IBS has the following symptoms like -

  • stomach pain and cramps
  • constipation and bloating

  • Diarrhea

  • urgent bowel movements

  • overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine

IBD can also cause the same symptoms as IBS, such as:

If you're having symptoms of IBS, IBD, or either of the two, talk to your doctor or gastroenterologist.

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Stomach pain is a common symptom of both IBS and IBD. With IBD, you may also experience pain in other parts of the body.

  • Pain In Ibs

Stomach pain is the most common symptom reported by people with IBS. Research shows that 3 out of 4 people with IBS complain of persistent or frequent stomach pain.

The pain is often felt in the lower abdomen, although it can occur anywhere in the abdomen. The type and severity of pain can vary even within the same day. The types and locations of pain in IBS often include:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen may increase after eating and is often accompanied by bloating.
  • Central abdominal pain is centered in the abdominal area and often feels like cramping.

  • The pain in the lower abdomen usually subsides after a bowel movement.

Pain associated with IBS may also be experienced in the intestines. Because its symptoms include functional pain, IBS is sometimes known as centralized sensitivity syndrome (CSS).

  • Pain In Ibd

Stomach pain is also a common symptom of IBD. The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation estimates that 50 to 70 percent of people with IBD complain of gastrointestinal (GI) pain when their IBD symptoms first begin and later, whenever the disease is active.

People also report pain associated with IBD in other parts of the body, such as:

  • Joint pain
  • skin sensitivity

  • eye problems

  • oral lesions

  • pain around the rectum

IBS is extremely common. The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders estimates that it affects 15 percent of the population worldwide. While in 2015, 3 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with IBD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This represents an increase of approximately 50 percent compared to the last 6 years.

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The tests for IBS and IBD are very different. IBD is diagnosed through a variety of tests, while IBS is tested largely in addition to other diseases and conditions.

  • IBS test

Doctors diagnose IBS by looking for symptoms of other diseases. Since IBS symptoms primarily involve your bowel movements, the test takes this into account. The following symptoms are seen in IBS test like -

  • Your symptoms are related to defecation.
  • The frequency of your stool has changed.

  • The appearance of your stool has changed.

  • IBD test

Unlike IBS, diagnosing IBD requires medical testing. Any of these tests can be used to test for IBD, as well as rule out other medical conditions such as:

Depending on the severity of the swelling, the doctor may also send you for endoscopic tests like esophagogastroscopy or colonoscopy. In these, a small tube with a camera is inserted into the esophagus or rectum.

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The exact causes of IBS and IBD are still under study. Both genetics and family history are thought to play a role in these diseases.

  • Causes of IBS

The cause of IBS is not known for certain, but the following conditions are thought to increase your risk:

  • intestinal bacterial infection
  • Food Intolerances and Sensitivities

  • genetics

  • mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety

  • Due to Ibd

The exact cause of IBD is not known. It is believed that in this the immune system does not work as it should. IBD can have the following causes like –

  • genetics
  • environmental factors, such as stress

  • gut microbiota, or microorganisms that live in the body

Normally, the immune system limits the effects of harmful bacteria, viruses, and environmental toxins. In a person with IBD, the immune system goes haywire and inflammation develops in the GI tract.

Genetics play a role in causing IBD. People who have a family history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease have a higher risk of developing these diseases.

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The Role of Stress in IBS and IBD

We do know that stress makes all GI disorders worse. There's a lot of truth when we call a reaction "gut-wrenching." In fact, stress can have very real effects on the body.

Because people with IBS do not have inflammation, it is difficult for researchers to understand the exact causes of IBS. But they know that IBS is almost always aggravated by stress.

Stress reduction techniques may help reduce IBS symptoms. As -

  • Attention

  • regular exercise

  • talk therapy

Stress can also aggravate the mood disorders that sometimes arise in people suffering from the disease. Emotional disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are common in people with IBD, and stress can intensify their effects.


Both IBS and IBD can cause complications, especially if left untreated. These conditions affect not only the digestive system but also your mental health.

  • Complications of IBS

If left untreated, IBS can cause a low quality of life. IBS may also include other complications, such as:

  • Chronic diarrhea, which is sometimes a symptom of IBS, and can lead to hemorrhoids
  • frequent bowel movements or cramps

  • mood disorders such as depression and anxiety

  • Complications of IBD

Symptoms of IBD require treatment. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two main forms of IBD. For ulcerative colitis, complications may include

  • hole in the intestine due to inflammation
  • Rapid enlargement of the colon, called toxic megacolon

  • severe diarrhea

  • rectal bleeding and pain

Complications of Crohn's disease may include:

  • boils
  • intestinal blockage

  • perforated intestine

  • fistula

  • malabsorption of food

Complications of IBD can also develop outside the GI tract. For example, disorders may develop in other parts of the body, such as the skin, kidneys or joints.

If you experience any changes in your mood or symptoms of depression, seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.

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Treatment for IBS and IBD

Treatments for IBS and IBD differ. While IBS can be cured by making lifestyle changes, IBD treatment is usually more complex.

  • treatment of ibs

IBS can be treated with certain medications such as intestinal antispasmodics such as hyoscyamine (Levsin) or dicyclomine (Bentyl). The diet and lifestyle changes that seem to be most helpful include:

  • Avoid fried and fatty foods and caffeinated beverages
  • relaxation exercises, such as meditation and yoga

  • reduce stress

  • A heating pad to help reduce cramps and pain

  • acupuncture

  • herbal remedies, such as chamomile tea

  • probiotics

  • treatment of ibd

IBD treatment depends on the test. First of all, swelling has stopped. Common treatment options for IBD may include:

  • 5-ASA drugs (aminosalicylates)
  • immunomodulator

  • Biologics

  • Surgery

  • dietary changes

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The symptoms of IBD and IBS may seem similar, but they are two different conditions and have different treatment requirements. It is important to reduce inflammation in IBD. On the other hand, IBS is not treatable with medications because it has no identifiable physical cause. Research continues in an effort to develop more effective treatments. If any kind of symptoms appear, definitely consult your doctor.

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