One of the most common questions that I get asked is “Manny, what is the difference between IBS and IBD?”. Good question my friends, as there can be confusion due the fact that they both share similar symptoms but both have major differences.

IBS can be seen as the mild in-comparison to IBD or could be a precursor to IBD if it not treated swiftly and effectively. You may have heard people say “Oh, it’s just IBS” or “I’ve only got IBS” but anything that has an adverse affect on your health should not be belittled by any means.

So, What Is IBS Then?

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Therefore, it’s a syndrome, not a disease.

IBS is known as “spastic colon,” and since it’s a syndrome it’s just a set or range of symptoms that may fall into the defining category, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

IBS, unlike IBD, does not cause tissue inflammation. In other words, if you had a camera down your gob (endoscopy) or up your backside (colonoscopy), doctors would not find tissue inflammation, scarring, etc. from IBS alone. However, if tissue inflammation, scarring, ulcers were found then this would be IBD. I have had many cameras up my backside but I usually like to be wined and dined before having anything put up there. Trust me, it’s not pleasant but it is crucial to your diagnosis or further investigation of IBS or IBD.

IBS can cause daily pain, discomfort and misery for those who battle it. Some days can be unbearable but can be overcome it and re-gain control of your life. I certainly have.

UK vs US

In the UK, about 2 in 10 people have IBS and get episodes six times a year or more. How long a flare up lasts varies from person to person and may change from one episode to the next.

You can develop IBS at any age, but you usually have your first symptoms when you’re between 20 and 30. Women are twice as likely as men to report having symptoms of IBS and it’s unusual to get them for the first time after the age of 50.

In the US, there are between 2.4 and 3.5 million annual physician visits for IBS. IBS is the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialise in digestive diseases or disorders) and accounts for up to 12% of total visits to primary care providers.

Symptoms of IBS

The symptoms vary from person to person and they can experience all of these, a few of them or even one.

Typical Symptoms Include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Conspitation
  • Stomach Pain
  • Gas
  • Bloated Stomach
  • Mucus in poo
  • Nausea

A part of your gut healing journey with All My Friends Are Eggs is that we track your symptoms throughout and analyse what is triggering them so we can understand how we can reduce those symptoms.

What About IBD?

IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This is a disease as a opposed to being a syndrome.

IBD involves chronic inflammation on all or part of the digestive tract, and it primarily includes Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. IBD causes changes in bowel tissue and increases your chances for bowel and colorectal cancer. However, IBD can be detected via the unpleasant but essential camera up the bum (colonscopy) or down the throat (endoscopy). IBD can cause tissue inflammation, ulcers, scarring or polyps, which then can cause whole host of problems and symptoms. Having Crohn’s Disease for 20 years (and in remission for 4 years), I know first hand about all those hospital trips, the agonising pain, the feeling of giving up. Trust me, the grass is greener on this side now that I am in remission. You will be too with our expert guidance.

There is no cure for IBD. However, the disease can go into remission.

I was on medication for 16 years which included Azathioprine, Adalimumab, Mezalazine, Corticosteroids. Not to mention my bowel perforated on Christmas Day 2016 so I had an Ileostomy bag. Now, I have no bag, no medication, no symptoms. On top of that, I went onto being a Champion Powerlifter and breaking records. For more on my story then click here.

UK vs US

In the UK, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, affecting more than 500,000 people in the UK. Yet it is largely a hidden disease, and one that causes stigma, fear and isolation – it’s thought that many people with the condition go undiagnosed and suffer in silence. It doesn’t have to be like this.

In the US, approximately 1.6 million Americans currently have IBD and there’s as many as 70,000 new cases of IBD are diagnosed in the United States each year.

Symptoms of IBD

Just like IBS, the symptoms are unique to the individual, and the type of IBD present.

Here are some common symptoms seen in those with IBD:

  • Severe Diarrhoea
  • Weight Loss
  • Stomach Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Skin Issues
  • Joint Pain
  • Rectal Bleeding or Blood in poo
  • Night Sweats
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Brain Fog
  • Frequent Colds
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Bloated Stomach
  • Gas

A part of your gut healing journey with All My Friends Are Eggs is that we track your symptoms throughout and analyse what is triggering them so we can understand how we can reduce those symptoms.