Difference btn IBS and UC?

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/20/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Can anyone explain the difference in symptoms between IBS and UC? 

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/26/2009 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, paytonboho,

I had to look this up myself, but I found a site that explains the difference.  It says:

Irritable bowel syndrome has similar symptoms to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. However, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease are bowel disorders with inflammation and IBS is not.

Ulcerative colitis is when the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops ulcers. The chronic symptoms of this disorder may include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, nutritional deficiencies, food intolerances,
achiness, joint pain, itchiness, flatulence and bloating.

I believe that a colonoscopy will show physical evidence of UC, but not IBS.  It is typically after other digestive disorders with physical evidence have been ruled out that a diagnosis of IBS is made.

Someone with more knowledge or experience may be able to answer this better, but I hope this helps somewhat.


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/3/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   

regarding the question posted by paytonboho:

I was misdiagnosed with UC about 6 months ago. The description posted by Karen is correct. I believe the only way to tell is to get a colonoscopy. They will do a small biopsy to determine whether you have UC. The "good" news is there are medications that can relieve the symptoms of UC as opposed to IBS.

Symptom-wise, they are very similar and only a biopsy can make that determination.

Good luck. I've had so many inconclusive tests done that I have little faith in doctors.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/5/2009 11:30 PM (GMT -7)   
With IBD (CD or UC) there is inflammtion, it is a disease of the bowels, with IBS it's a syndrom, there is no inflammation or bleeding (with the exception of having hemmerhoides)...symptoms of IBS and IBD can be almost identical but a colonoscopy is definitely needed to DX which it is...also many patients that have an IBD (either CD or UC) can also have IBS as well.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

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