Comparing IBS, Crohns, and Post-Gallbladder D

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/29/2007 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Can anyone give comparisons/differences of these three?  I am still in progress of testing for a diagnosis, and I think I read too much!  I have some symptoms of each of these, and was just wondering if anyone could give any definite "if you have this symptom, you don't have____" kind of answers.  Thanks for your help.

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 8/29/2007 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   

One thing you might want to ask your doctor to do is check the osmolarity of your stool.  They can tell a lot with that information (whether your diarrhea is secretory or osmotic).  Also, have you been tested for celiac disease (blood test or upper endoscopy biopsy)? 

No doctor should ever eliminate the possibility of a disorder based on symptoms alone; there's just too much variation in people.  So it's very hard to answer your question specifically.  Generally speaking, if you have a lot of blood and/or white blood cells (leukocytes) in your stool, this is indicative of some kind of inflammatory process.  Also, significant weight loss is another "warning" signal.

Co-moderator - IBS Forum

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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/31/2007 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Sarita's right in that all three of these things have overlapping symptoms and it can be very hard to figure out what's wrong. 


Crohns: Weight loss, constant diarrhea (although constipation is, very occassionally, a symptom), pain, problems in other systems--such as the kidneys, family history of ANY type of auto-immune disease.  Crohn's symptoms are typically--although not always--worse than the symptoms of the other two disorders.  A colonoscopy is the best (although not fool-proof) way to find it.  Blood tests, as Sarita mentioned, may find the inflammation in the colon that way.


GB-related problems: heartburn, yellow or green diarrhea (although a small number of people get constipation instead), burning poops, very obvious connection between eating and having stomach/intestinal problems.  May have some pain, although this is usually not a primary symptom and is rarely present without very bad D at the same time.  Gas and bloating to some extent. 


IBS: pain, D or C, gas, bloating, connection between eating and having inestinal problems. 


Basically, you need to have tests to rule out Crohn's.  Then that leaves you IBS or GB problems.  If you have bile in your stools, then it's almost certainly a GB problem.  If you take Welchol or Questran and get better, than the post-GB was your problem.  If you don't really get better, then IBS may very well be your diagnosis. 

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