The symptoms of IBS and IBD may be similar, but there is no link between the two. IBD is actually a more serious disorder called Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It’s not really a disease though, it’s a term used to describe a variety of gastrointestinal diseases usually categorized as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Ulcerative colitis is usually less serious and affects the colon and/or rectum and the inner lining becomes inflamed. Symptoms can develop slowly or can begin suddenly and vary from cramping in the lower abdomen to more rare symptoms such as bloody diarrhea.

Crohn’s disease is less common and it affects the esophagus, stomach, colon and small intestines. It causes inflammation in the tissue layers in the intestines, but it can also occur anywhere from the mouth to the rectum.

Both diseases can be stubborn to diagnose and treat since the symptoms are so similar to many other gastrointestinal diseases. Both are considered chronic but many people never have a reoccurrence after being treated. Treatment can include medication, diet changes or antibiotics. Your gastroenterologist can run tests to determine whether you have IBD so if you think you may have some of these symptoms be sure to talk to them.

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