To start off, IBS and IBD are different. IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome is less serious a problem and is therefore considered a functional disorder. In other words, the digestive system doesn’t work properly, but from a medical point of view, it looks completely normal. Furthermore, IBS symptoms involve bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and mucus in the stool. It is also called spastic bowel or spastic colon. IBS does not involve any damage to the bowel, ulcers, nor inflammation. As such, it is vital to know the difference between IBS and IBD.
IBD and Colon Cancer
IBD, on the other hand, involves inflammation, as its name suggests, inflammatory bowel disease. However, IBD does cause similar symptoms, such as abdominal cramps. It also can involve fever and bloodied diarrhea as well as weight loss. Also, IBD increases the risk of cancer of the intestine, which IBS does not. That said, over 90% of people suffering from IBD do not get cancer.
Through patients with ulcerative colitis, or UC, more is understood about colon cancer and IBD. There are various factors that can increase the risk of colon cancer in people who suffer from IBD. For example, it depends how much of the colon is actually affected by IBD, as well as how long one suffers from it. Moreover, if there is colon cancer in the family, this increases the risk for IBD sufferers to develop the cancer.
With ulcerative colitis, the risk of developing colon cancer begins to increase after they have had the disease for 8 to 10 years. Those with the entire colon affected with the disease have the highest risk of developing colon cancer. Alternatively, those with inflammation existing only within the rectum, have the lowest risk.
Knowing the difference between IBS and IBD can put your mind at ease. Sufferers often think the worst when inflicted with a disorder or disease, and that’s common. However, do not rely on self-diagnosis. See a doctor quickly to have the proper tests done to rule out more serious conditions and start working on ways to improve your symptoms. There are in fact numerous ways to get relief, including lifestyle changes like diet.