Diff Between IBS and UC

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 4/5/2009 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   

What is the difference between IBS and UC?

Thanks in advance

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 4/5/2009 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   
IBS means Irritable bowel syndrome. UC is an IBD. Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Disease is more permanent. Syndrome is "fixable" by diet. No real need for medicine.
27 year old, Married, Female.
Diagnosed with UC since March 2007

Taking Humira and Imuran since May 2007 (Currently in remission since May 2007)
Taken off Imuran 1/15/09
Only taking Humira.

Can't take Asacol, Allergic to Remicade

Post Edited (Sweetie31105) : 4/5/2009 9:54:19 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2103
   Posted 4/5/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
There is a HUGE difference between IBS and UC. Like sweetie said IBS is irritable bowel syndrome. Its usually a psychological, diet or stress response. When I am extremely nervous or worried about something my IBS kicks in and I get cramping and episodes of d.
UC on the other hand is and inflammatory bowel disease. That means that your intestines are actually inflamed. With UC the immune system attacks the colon causing ulcers. The ulcers bleed, cause D and all that lovely extra stuff that comes along with UC. None of this happens in IBS.
20 year old medical technology/biology student
Remission since January/April 2006
4 400mg Asacol 2x daily, 10mg Elavil, 75mg Effexor XR for GAD, ortho lo

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans"
John Lennon

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/5/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is classified as a functional gastrointestinal disorder, which means there is some type of disturbance in bowel function. It is not a disease, but rather a syndrome, defined as a group of symptoms. These typically include chronic abdominal pain or discomfort and diarrhea, constipation, or alternating bouts of the two. People with IBS are also more likely to have other functional disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pelvic pain, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

IBS has been referred to by many names, including mucous colitis and spastic colitis, but these terms are inaccurate and lead to confusion about what IBS is. While the word "colitis" refers to an inflammation of the colon (large intestine), IBS does not cause inflammation. Unlike ulcerative colitis patients, IBS sufferers show no sign of disease or abnormalities when the colon is examined.

IBS does not produce the destructive inflammation found in IBD, so in many respects it is a less serious condition. It doesn't result in permanent harm to the intestines, intestinal bleeding, or the harmful complications often occurring with IBD. People with IBS are not at higher risk for colon cancer, nor are they more likely to develop IBD or other gastrointestinal diseases. IBS seldom requires hospitalization, and treatment does not usually involve surgery or powerful medications, such as steroids or immunosuppressives.

IBS can, however, cause a great deal of discomfort and distress, and can severely affect an individual's quality of life. Its symptoms can range from mildly annoying to disabling -- impinging on a person's self-image, social life, and ability to work or travel. People with IBS are more likely to seek health care for both gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal complaints compared to people without IBS. It is estimated that IBS results in direct and indirect medical costs of over $20 billion annually.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 4/5/2009 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pb4,

Thanks for your exlanation.
How IBS can be controlled or managed?
Looks like i'm having both IBS and UC. Can this happen?
The reason why 'm saying this is that even through my UC is under control, i see some disturbances, inconsistencies in my bowel movements...and the BM's are changing day by day..
Do we need to make some changes in food or add more fiber to the food?

please advise

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/5/2009 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey happyliving, they have meds to treat IBS, one off hand that I know of is called Dicetel, and to also help control IBS symptoms, having enough fibre in your diet daily and regular exercise as well, plus eating as healthy as possible, it seems that fatty and spicey foods along with processed foods/beverages, fast-foods (because of the high content of MSG's) and caffeine can all exacerbate IBS symptoms (as it can with IBD)...probiotics can also benefit IBS...if you can't tolerate eating fibreous foods very well then a fibre supplement daily is a great option, since I started with fibre supplements (once my system adjusted to them) I can tolerate eating all fibreous foods without getting all gassy and bloated. Just know that intially fibre supplements can increase gas and bloating but this is normal and once your system adjusts it should go away, I'm never bloated anymore and have minimal gas on a regular basis now. BTW, my GI was the one that suggested I take fibre supplements daily and indefinitely and it was the best advice since it aids with both my IBD and IBS.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1439
   Posted 4/5/2009 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
IBS there are no histological symptoms and you don't bleed (unless your butt gets chafed from wiping). UC has a definite pathology and ulcerations are clearly visible on a colonscopy.
21, female, diagnosed 3/6/2009
Mild ulcerative colitis from rectum to mid transverse colon
Currently in remission
Currently taking Asacol (3x/day) and Calcium/D supplements

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 4/6/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Check out this site for more information on how you can attempt to control IBS by diet: www.helpforibs.com. This site was recently recommended to me, and it has helped me tremendously.
Diagnosed w/IBS: Oct. 2006
Diagnosed w/UC: Jan. 2007 (proctitis), July 2008 (pancolitis)
Medications: Canasa (helped the first flare when it was just proctitis); Rowasa enemas (did not help as the following colonoscopy confirmed pancolitis); Lialda (2 pills in the morning, 2 pills in the evening, soon to be 2 pills in the morning only once I'm off steriods); Prednisone; Protonix (only took while on prednisone); Remicade infusions, started at 5mg/kg, increased in March to 7.5mg/kg (started Aug 2008 - 6 infusions so far, next infusion on 4/30 continuing every 8 weeks); Zyrtec-D (for allergies); Toprol (a generic form, 25 mg, for a rapid heart rate)
Supplements: Women's One-a-day multi-vitamin; Super B-complex w/vitamin C, Iron supplements, Omega-3 Fish Oil (coated, not sure how much except one soft-gel daily), Aloe Vera supplement (two daily), Acidopholis
Diet: Spinach and Sunflower seed butter diet (starting 3/21/09)
Current Status: Reached remission for a few weeks in October 2008, but symptoms returned after I allowed myself to enjoy wine again.... gave up wine and have not been in full remission again yet. 

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