ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

IBS vs IBD: Myths Revealed

Updated on March 24, 2018
angela_michelle profile image

At 17, Angela was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. At 20, her colon was removed. She has a passion to share her knowledge of the disease.

Source

Almost everyone has experienced bowel trouble. Whether it is a harsh night at Taco Bell or something more severe, almost everyone knows what it feels like to have to go to the bathroom and to have to go right now!

But not everyone knows when it is something to be checked by the doctor.

In spite of the increased attention that both magazines and the Internet have given to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there are many misconceptions to the disease. This is often confused with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which includes both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s. IBS is much more common than both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's. Although don’t let that fool you into believing they are rare. Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's affect nearly one million Americans.

Not only do they both have similar initials, but they also share many of the same symptoms. Both are marked by:

  • A sense of urgency
  • Severe abdominal pain or cramps
  • Diarrhea, constipation or difficulty passing gas
  • An increase in bowel movements

These are the most prevalent symptoms. In both, the causes are unknown, although heredity seems to be a significant factor for both. Most importantly, both can be treated with nutrition and medication. Yet there remain many myths regarding these two diseases.

Video on Difference Between IBS and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Myth #1 IBS Is an IBD.

Fact: IBS is not an inflammatory bowel disease. The biggest difference between IBS and IBD is the way it attacks your body. Inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, are inflammations of the intestinal lining. Ulcerative colitis will affect the colon, also known as the large intestine, while Crohn’s may affect the entire intestinal tract.

IBS, also known as spastic colon, is believed to be triggered by ones intestinal tract not moving at the normal pace due to its sensitivity to factors such as change in diet, stress, chemicals, or other bodily changes. IBS is not life threatening, while an IBD can be.

Myth #2 IBS and IBDs Are Caused by Stress and How Well One Reacts to It.

Fact: Though neither has known causes, stress has been ruled out as a primary cause, although that does not mean it is not a secondary factor. As with any disease, stress can increase the severity of both IBS and IBD. Flare-ups can be brought on during the least stressful moments, as well as within the most emotionally secure people. Having flares of irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s has no reflection on the way one deals with stress. Unfortunately, stress can aggravate the already existing condition.

Source

Myth #3 If There is No Blood, Then It's Probably Just Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Fact: Blood is a symptom of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, but it is not a symptom of irritable bowel. Keep in mind that blood in the stool could be caused by hemorrhoids, which is a common occurrence for those with ibs. Therefore, do not assume that just because you do see blood that it must be a very serious case.

On the flip side, you don’t need to see blood for it to be ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. Often times, in milder cases of an inflammatory bowel disease, there are very few symptoms. Blood is generally present in moderate to severe cases.

It is very important to see a doctor if you have diarrhea or constipation that lasts for more than 48 hours. Those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s, regardless if blood is present, are at an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

Myth #4 It's Just Irritable Bowel, So I Don't Need To Call My Doctor.

Fact: Any person who has chronic diarrhea or constipation should go see a doctor, especially if coupled with weight gain, weight loss, dehydration. Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease of exclusion. So in order to know that what you have is IBS, other possibilities need to be eliminated.

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome mimic those of many other diseases including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, colon cancer, diverticulitis, endometriosis, fibromyalgia. Do not assume because there isn’t blood, everything is fine. Perhaps it is irritable bowel, but even if it is, there are treatments. Therefore, make sure a medical professional diagnoses you so they can assist you in getting your body healthy.


Myth #5 Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Not a Real Disease, It's All in the Head.

Fact: Although IBS may not have the potential of being as severe as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, it can be just as intrusive in the average patients day-to-day life. They aren't imagining it at all. Let me repeat that irritable bowel syndrome is not an imagined disease, it is a very real disease.

Since there is no test that can detect irritable bowel syndrome, it is often one of the most misunderstood diseases. Those that suffer often hear, “It's all in your head,” or “If you weren't so paranoid, you wouldn't get sick every time when you eat,” or "You need to learn how to better handle stress." This is a very real disease, and it has very real symptoms that need to be taken seriously.

If you think you may have one of these diseases, make sure to see a doctor immediately. Always find the facts for yourself. Remember, you know your body best. Please listen to it.

© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      It is really important to know the difference, I'm glad I was able to be informative for you.

    • jhunpaler profile image

      jhunpaler 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      clearing myths on IBD and IBS, really informative :)

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      Exactly right!

    • profile image

      reflux 

      6 years ago from USA

      yes, IBD causes severe inflammation of the intestinal tracts;IBS,causes no lasting damage to the intestinal lining.

      This hub contain all the information regarding myths of IBS and IBD. Thanks for sharing

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you JCielo for the nice compliment. :)

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      Oh thanks for pointing that out. I will delete in now. I'll try to find a new one.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 

      6 years ago from India

      People got really confused feeling the symptoms of IBS, but your article is good enough to clear the myths surrounding IBS. But the video is not available because it is a private video and the access is not granted.

    • JCielo profile image

      JCielo 

      6 years ago from England

      There are far too many myths surrounding health issues such as these. Thanks for debunking these ones. Really useful hub.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      I wasn't sure if you were talking about the dude making the miserable face or the dude doing work on the toilet. Both I can relate to. LOL. :) I am glad to hear your Crohn's has gotten under control.

    • Bohn profile image

      Bohn 

      8 years ago from Carolinas, USA

      as a former sufferer of Crohns, I found your hub informative...loved the picture of the dude on the toilet! Can relate to that!

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      I agree, thank you. :)

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Very informative information. God Bless You.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks Aunt Barb. I hope others get something out of it too!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      8 years ago from USA

      Even though I feel like I am completely educated about Crohns I actually learned something from this article. Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)