Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: October, 2016

By GI Associates
October 24, 2016
Category: IBD
Tags: IBD; IBS  

A Quick Guide to IBD vs. IBS and What You Need to Know 

Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, bloody stool, plus fatigue and loss of appetite: It’s all a pain, right? And it all falls under IBS or IBD interchangeably, right?

Wrong. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is much different from Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). In fact, IBS is a less serious problem and does not have the lasting impact of IBD, which includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Here are some key differences:

  • IBS is a “functional disorder” of the digestive system and can involve cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. It’s no fun, but it doesn’t cause lasting damage to the bowel.
  • Inflammation and ulcers are the domain of IBD, which affects approximately 1.4 million Americans. IBS does not cause inflammation or ulcers.
  • IBS can be managed by changes in diet and lifestyle.
  • IBD is a chronic condition.
  • “Attacks” of IBS can last a few weeks. Then, the body regulates itself.
  • Diarrhea medicine, constipation medicine, and even antidepressants can help treat IBS.
  • Surgery is often necessary to treat IBD.

IBS and IBD can seriously impact your lifestyle, but there are ways to live with both. Although symptoms can overlap, it’s important to ask your doctor about the right tests to determine if your bowel problems are caused by IBS or IBD.

Diarrhea, blood, cramps, or constipation: Is something amiss in the bathroom? Make an appointment with a skilled gastroenterologist at 877-442-7762 or visit giassoc.org today.

Celiac disease is more than just bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms of the disease include but are not limited to  joint pain, unexplained weight loss, the inability to gain weight, fatigue, weak bones, and irritability. In honor of October being celiac disease awareness month, test your knowledge of this disease by choosing “myth” or “fact” for the statements below:

Myth or Fact: Everyone has some degree of gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is just a more severe sensitivity.

MYTH This is one of the biggest myths about celiac disease. A lot of attention is paid to gluten these days, and because of that, “gluten sensitivity” is often used interchangeably with gluten intolerance, a.k.a. celiac disease. In fact, celiac disease is a serious immune disorder. The bodies of people with celiac disease treat gluten as an invader and reject it, causing illness, weight loss, and more serious problems.

Myth or Fact: Celiac disease strikes randomly and there’s no way to predict whether or not you will suffer from it.

MYTH Celiac disease is genetic. Up to 22% of people with celiac disease have a close relative who also has the condition. Even so, it may have gone undiagnosed in your family, so even though you are not aware of any family members with the disease doesn’t mean it’s not hiding in the family tree somewhere.

Myth or Fact: There is no cure for celiac disease.

FACT Unfortunately, there’s no cure. There’s no pill or shot or magic bullet to combat the disease. The good news is, once you’ve been diagnosed, you can take steps to change your lifestyle and eating habits to eliminate gluten  so that you no longer suffer the symptoms.

Myth or Fact: Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.

FACT Celiac disease may be the tip of an iceberg of health problems. That’s why early intervention and lifestyle adjustments are crucial to living a healthy life.

Myth or Fact: Celiac disease is rare.

MYTH About one percent of the population has celiac disease. That number is expected to grow in the coming years as more awareness is brought to this condition. As it is, an estimated 60 percent of people who have celiac disease don’t know they have it.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms above, or if you know a family member who has celiac disease, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. Catch celiac disease early to avoid a lot of hardship and start living a better life sooner!

Suffering from bloating, bathroom problems, fatigue, weight loss, or any other symptom of celiac disease? Make an appointment with one of our skilled gastroenterologists by calling 887-422-7762 or visit giassoc.org today.