What's the difference

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 7/30/2006 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I was just wondering if someone could explain the difference between mild, moderate and severe IBS. I've been diagnosed with UC and after a colonoscopy found that wasn't the problem this time, my doctor believes I probably also have IBS as well.
So needless to say I've been researching that now. What I have found is that there are three categories of symptoms, mild, moderate and severe. Compared to a person with UC my symptoms are pretty mild -- and I thank god for that. But since it's not UC and is most likely IBS, I'm wondering where I fit in. Are my symptoms severe, mild or moderate. It also seems to change depending on what I eat.
Just curious if there are any certain criteria or anything like that.... 
Diagnosed about five years ago with UC -- wasn't too extensive.
Lost insurance and had a bad flare for a couple of months without any treatment -- couldn't afford them.
Took Prednisone for about two months to go into a remission, with minor flares, that lasted for two years.
While in remission I started on Rowasa enemas and then switched to Asacol.
Back on both Rowasa -- 1 night -- and Asacol 3 pills 3xday

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 7/30/2006 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
what a good question.
in my opinion i could only define 'severe' as the inability to lead a fufilling life. for example once diarrhea or constipation interupts your work, social life, self esteem, desires and health...
but then again, we could all be classified as severe, huh...?

i think it depends on the person.
what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 7/30/2006 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I would like to know the answer to that one myself......I have been dealing with this bowel stuff now for 4 years and it definitly screws with my day to day life, work,social,personal you name it...me and the bathroom have become quite close over the past few years, even closer then my fiance....lol...He says man you have a more intimate relationship with your docs, at least they get to see ya in the buff,,,,,ha ha ha ...hey if ya can't laugh ya might as well jump

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/31/2006 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I love your attitude... "Hey if ya can't laugh ya might as well jump." You have to try and find humor in all of this mess. I'm pretty sure that's how many of us get through it. Sarita's told us stories about her friends coming to hang out and everyone just laughs when she goes for her Nth trip to the can. I think they even had a nickname for her like "poopy pants" or something just as endearing.
Anyway... I'd have to agree that severe is when IBS interrupts your life from every aspect. Yes IBS keeps me from being super social, yes IBS makes me miss a few days of work, yes IBS makes my self image lower - BUT, it doesn't do this everyday. Nor does it do this every week. I think when we start talking long term... That's when you have severe IBS.
I could be wrong though.... I'm just guessing. Any thoughts?
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Joan M
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 8/1/2006 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I have found my answer. I take zelnorm 2 times a day and konstyl up to a tablespoon and a half each day, I also eat Kashi cereals. I also eat tons of fruits and vegetables. I have ibs with constipation.

It did screw me up socially and it hasn't for approximately 3 years.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 8/1/2006 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Cash, I have UC too and they thought that's what I was having until they went in and that still seems to be in remission. I almost think this is worse in some ways than the UC. The gas and bloating is awful and it doesn't seem like they have any definite course of treatment for it. Does the stuff for the UC help with the irritable bowel? I used to take all that stuff you have used. I took steroids last month because of my asthma and I did have a little bit of blood. Helped the asthma and no more blood but still have the diarhhea, gas and bloating. sad Barb

My laundry list of diseases include IBS, UC, GERD, Asthma, Alergies, CAD, Fibromyalgia and a deteriorating disk in lower back. 
Proud Mother of a US Marine Seargent & a future fire fighter!
Proud grandma of Isabella Rose, and furry grandson's Kayu, Gizmo & Stewie!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/2/2006 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd say that severe IBS (or IBD) causes you to be hospitalized every few months or maybe once or twice a year for several days at a time. You may be on disability or only able to work part time or from home because you're sick too often to hold down a regular job. You may have been sick so much you were fired from your job. You either never have a normal poop, or will be normal for some length of time, only to get very, very sick for a goodly length of time.

Moderate IBS, I think, is when you are frequently ill, but not so much that you can't work, even though it seems very difficult at times (and you take a lot of time off). You pretty much cease to have a social life because you either are sick too frequently or fear being sick. You are fixated on bathroom locations and won't go anywhere where there might not be a toliet. You can't remember the last time you ate out at a restaurant. You carry clean underwear and/or a change of clothing in your car or even your purse for accidents. You almost never have a normal poop.

Mild IBS is when you only sometimes have bowel problems. You only miss work every now and again. You still have a social life because you don't get sick often enough to worry about it. You know, for the most part, what makes you sick and can avoid it and most of the problems that go along with it. When you get "a flare" it only lasts a day or two--a few at most. You frequently have normal poops.
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