Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is colitis the same thing as IBS?"
So many stomach issues over the last year or so that I just can't seem to explain. The doctor said I could have colitis or IBS. Are they the same thing? Like are they caused by the same thing or do I have to take care of both of them separately??
Colitis and Irritable bowel syndrome are not the same thing. Colitis is a general term that just describes inflammation in the colon. Colitis has many causes including viral and bacterial infections. These types of infections usually only last a short time and probably would not given you problems over a whole year. Colitis can also be caused by autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis. These are diseases where the body's immune system attacks the colon and causes inflammation and pain. They cause abdominal pain, weight loss, and diarrhea that is often bloody. In irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there is little if any inflammation in any part of the intestine. The pain people experience with IBS is related to normal movements of the bowel that are painful and crampy in nature. They often get really intense right before a bowel movement and are temporarily relieved with a bowel movement. People can sometimes complain of constipation or sometimes diarrhea. People tend to say that their bowels are sensitive and many different foods or social or emotional situations can make the symptoms worse. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist. I think you should see a gastroenterologist because to rule out an inflammatory colitis, you will need to have a colonoscopy. If that comes back normal, then perhaps you should begin some treatment for IBS.
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