Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have common symptoms that can make a true diagnosis difficult without a colonoscopy. Both conditions commonly present with diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and cramping. However the treatment of the conditions is very different.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the functioning of the large intestine. IBS does not change the bowel tissue, but it is a chronic condition that needs to be properly managed long-term. IBS symptoms are commonly controlled through lifestyle, diet and stress reduction and in more severe cases, medication and counseling.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that cause the chronic inflammation of your digestive tract, colon or rectum. Common types of IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The symptoms of IBD can range from mild to debilitating and even life-threatening. IBD needs to be carefully managed and is commonly characterized by acute episodes followed by periods of remissions.