Hi Blairstl,Welcome to the IBS board! Unfortunately, IBS and IBD have overlapping symptoms. This is why it is particularly hard to diagnose both. Unlike IBD, IBS is a functional disorder. Most of us live life relatively normal with diet adjustments and supplements and/or medication. Here's a quick little exert I took about IBS from MayoClinic.org:
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain or cramping and changes in bowel function — including bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation...
There aren’t too many meds out there specifically for IBS that treats all symptoms. However, you will find a variety that do different things:
I'm sure I forgot to mention some things, but those are all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure others will add to this.
The problem is that we're all different and we react differently to meds. Some may really help 1 and not so much the other. For instance, Zelnorm worked miracles on me, but didn't fair so well with several other members on this board. Some antispasmodics work wonders for some, while for others they are like taking a sugar pill. The thing is that you have to keep trying different options until you find the one(s) that works for you.
To reiterate: Yes, IBS can include horrible cramping and can cause unusual stools.... You are not alone.