The Symptoms of IBS can Mimic other Disorders

There are other digestive diseases that are not to be confused with the symptoms of IBS. Again, IBS is a functional disorder, meaning there is no known medical reason for the symptoms-at least not one that the doctor can see. Instead, the colon is not functioning as it should, so it is considered a functional disorder.

Your gastroenterology doctor will be looking to rule out these other diseases, which can be very serious and require different types of treatment.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease – A person with inflammatory bowel disease could be diagnosed with either Crohn's disease or colitis, both of which cause severe inflammation of the intestines.
  • Colitis – Also called ulcerative colitis, this disease causes ulcers and sores in the lining of the colon. The symptoms can be pain, cramping and bloody diarrhea.

    Crohn's Disease – The inflammation in Crohn's disease can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, that is, anywhere from the mouth to the anus. Pain and diarrhea are the common symptoms.

  • Celiac disease – An extreme intolerance to wheat and other gluten products, such as rye and barley. Gluten is a protein found in these grains. When a person with Celiac disease consumes any of these foods, their immune system attacks the lining of their small intestine. This, of course, can cause many problems, such as malnutrition and anemia.
  • Diverticulitis - Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that form in your digestive system. These pouches can become inflamed and cause severe pain, nausea and fever.
  • All of these digestive diseases can be very serious if left untreated. That is why it is important to see your doctor to rule out any of these which can mimic the symptoms of IBS.

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