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People often mix up irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in speech, but really they are quite different. Although IBS and IBD both cause similar symptoms- stomachaches, nausea- only one is a gastrointestinal disease that can be severely debilitating and life-threatening.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Other terms include spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis.
About one out of every six people experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes abdominal pain and cramping, in addition to abnormal bowel movements.
IBS may occur as a result of an infection in the intestines, or it may be caused by stress. There are no tests to diagnose IBS, rather several diagnostic procedures to rule out IBD, colon cancer, or celiac disease.
People with irritable bowel syndrome suffer from the following symptoms at least three times per month, for at least three months:
Loss of appetite
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) refers to a set of gastrointestinal illnesses that are chronic or very frequent, and occur because of an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the stomach and intestines.
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most common types of IBD, and both can result in ulcers, inflammation, and other types of stomach damage.
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation, sores, and ulcers all along the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, but most often occurs in parts of the small and large intestines.
Ulcerative colitis causes similar damage and ailments in the large intestines and rectum.
Chronic symptoms of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may include:
Intense stomach pains, cramps
Uncontrollable frequent diarrhea
Unexplainable weight loss
There are no complications involved with IBS, which is more of a functional condition of the stomach that causes no perceivable damage.
With IBD, flare-ups, a worsening of symptoms or long-time illness may cause several comorbid conditions or complications, including:
Infected fistula caused by deep ulcers
Colon rupture caused by toxic megacolon
Anemia caused by low iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, resulting in too few red blood cells.
IBS is distressing and uncomfortable, but it causes no actual damage to the gastrointestinal tract, and is not life-threatening. To treat, avoid foods that irritate the stomach, and eat small frequent meals, in order to prevent overstuffing.
With IBD, portions of the intestines and stomach are diseased and vulnerable to rupture, which can be deadly. Diagnosis may require colonoscopy, X-ray, barium enema, blood tests, MRI, and CT scan.
Depending on the severity of IBD symptoms, treatments may include medications, restrictive diet, vitamins, including vitamin B12 supplements, and possibly, surgery.
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
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If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), then you probably won’t appreciate extravagant (albeit well-meaning) gifts like World’s Largest Cheese Ball, Seven-Spice fruitcake, or a subscription to the Beer of the Month club. It’s hard for non-IBD sufferers to know what kind of gift to get for somebody with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Make it easier on them- print out this handy list, and avoid unnecessarily awkward gift-giving scenarios.
Who wouldn’t appreciate this lovely, aesthetically appealing gift of tea? Drop a tea bud into a pot of hot water, and watch as it slowly “blossoms” into a breathtaking underwater bouquet. Choose from an assortment of organic black, white, green or oolong teas.
Part of coping with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis means always being prepared for bathroom emergencies, and these flushable bathroom wipes are the best thing since sliced bread! This is a great stocking-stuffer for anybody with IBD.
Let’s face it- you can’t always count on hand soap. And while you’re ready to negotiate on comfort and convenience at rest stops, you’re not about to invite extra bouts of diarrhea from fecal contamination. These soap sheets from Travelon are amazing- they’re compact, they last forever, they dissolve easily with very little water, and one small pack contains 50 sheets! Also available- body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving lotion, and laundry soap.
Take your bathroom supplies with you without looking conspicuous. This leather toiletry bag lets you bring your basic bathroom necessities like flushable wipes and Travelon soap sheets without raising any eyebrows.
If you spend an inordinate amount of time in bed, then you’ll appreciate having a compact refrigerator for storing things like iced tea, water, meds, or a soothing snack. This cooler is great for people who live on a second floor, and don’t have the ability…or energy to climb up and down stairs. Or, keep this in your car for emergency trips to the hospital.
Uncle John has been entertaining restroom readers for 25 years, and it’s easy to see why. Each tome is chock full of miscellaneous bits of interesting stories, anecdotes, facts, trivia games, and mini biographies. It’s like having a compact library, right where you need it most. You’ll probably never get through the whole book, but if you do, there are dozens of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers to choose from, including one for kids!
Not sure what to cook that won’t upset your tummy? Take the blah out of your staple dinner routine by following some of the innovatively healthy recipes in the Creative
Colitis Cookbook for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
What causes Leaky Gut Syndrome? Scientists aren’t positive- could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, or any number of autoimmune disorders.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS), also called intestinal hyperpermeability, is a breach in the barrier that lines the intestinal tract. Leaky Gut causes damage to your digestive system, making it difficult for your body to digest nutrients, in addition to “leaking” bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles from your intestines and into the rest of your body.
Scientists aren’t clear what exactly causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, but they have noted some strong correlations; conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and gluten intolerance have a cyclical relationship with LGS, causing symptoms that cause further damage to the intestines, thus making Leaky Gut Syndrome even harder to control. Leaky Gut could result from a chronic disease, or it may signal the onset of life-threatening illness such as AIDS.
Doctors are hesitant to diagnose Leaky Gut Syndrome; it hasn’t yet been fully accepted as part of conventional medicine, and there are multitudes of seemingly unrelated illnesses that are theorized as being linked with Leaky Gut Syndrome. Not surprisingly, most doctors choose to treat each symptom separately, and rarely get to the root of the illness that might be LGS.
Below are some common symptoms associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome:
What diseases and are associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, or pernicious anemia
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
What can I take for Leaky Gut Syndrome?
If you are diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome, your doctor might advise one or more of the following:
Vitamin B12 supplements
Long-term lifestyle changes are effective at preventing further occurrences of Leaky Gut Syndrome, including restrictive diet for Leaky Gut, probiotics, alcohol moderation, and weaning off non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Read more about autoimmune diseases and vitamin B12 deficiency:
Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with so many types of autoimmune disease; it’s almost like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” Guess what vitamin B12, IBS, cardiovascular disease, and many kinds ofchronic disease have in common…
B12 deficiency- why worry?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient, one of many B vitamins, that is crucial for optimum health. If you don’t get enough vitamin B12 from meat, chicken, fish, and eggs, from B12 shots, then you could suffer severe vitamin B12 deficiency, which includes symptoms such as short-term memory loss, tingling in hands and feet, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression. People who are at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency are vegans, patients of gastric bypass surgery, diabetes sufferers, individuals on heartburn medicine, and anybody with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Vitamin B12 deficiency is also linked with many autoimmune diseases.
Here are 12 illnesses that are“6 degrees” away from vitamin B12 deficiency:
1) Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a digestive disease that includes illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of many IBD symptoms, such as chronic diarrhea, stomachcramping, nausea, heartburn, and constipation. IBD can cause severe damage to the intestines, including the colon. People with inflammatory bowel disease have difficulty digesting vitamins and minerals from food, which is why they must take regular vitamin supplements. Because their illness occurs in the digestive system, many IBD patients take vitamin B12 shots in order to avoid B12 deficiency, as vitamin B12 pills are ineffective.
Celiacs disease is an autoimmune disease that attacks the digestive system with the consumption of gluten. Celiac disease symptoms include indigestion, diarrhea, malnourishment, and nausea. Gluten intolerance symptoms occur whenever a celiac disease patient consumes a product containing gluten, a protein that occurs in wheat, rye, and barley. Because of their difficulty digesting vitamins, celiac disease sufferers should supplement regularly with non-oral forms of vitamin B12.
Auto [fibromyalgia symptoms] [symptoms of fibromyalgia]
Fibromyalgia symptoms strike 1 in 50 Americans. Many people don’t realize that fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic pain, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and “fibro fog” (disorientation). Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia also exhibit signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is another autoimmune disease, similar to fibromyalgia, which is closely linked with vitamin B12 deficiency. Scientists have noted an extremely high correlation between all three conditions- fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and B12 deficiency. Symptoms of CFS are extreme tiredness upon waking up in the morning, fatigue following minimal physical exertion, achy joints, and fibro fog.
Diabetics who take the drug metformin are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency, say scientists. Scientific studies linking low B12 levels with long-term usage of metformin indicate a 77% chance of developing peripheral neuropathy.
Stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamin B12 naturally from food sources. That is why people who take heartburn medication frequently, such as people with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or pregnant women, must take care to avoid B12 deficiency.
Some weight loss surgery procedures involve removing the terminal ilium, a part of the digestive system that is responsible for absorbing vitamin B12. For that reason, patients of bariatric surgery are strongly advised to supplement with non-oral vitamin B12.
Sometimes, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by pernicious anemia, a condition that distorts your red blood cells and inhibits absorption of vitamin B12. Causes of pernicious anemia include autoimmune disease and gastritis.
Autoimmune thyroid disease, also called Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. There is an unusually high correlation between instances of autoimmune thyroid disease and pernicious anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Because some of the symptoms of thyroid disease mimic pernicious anemia, many doctors overlook the possibility of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 helps to sustain cognitive health. In many studies, scientists have noticed that elderly individuals with low levels of B12 are more likely to suffer from early onset dementia than elderly individuals who maintain adequate levels of vitamin B12.
Got Colitis? Skip Tequila, Go for the Worm: Scientists believe they have a cure for Crohn’s disease and celiac,and it involves using parasitic hookworms. Here are some other surprising natural options for managing autoimmune disease.
Are we killing ourselves with hygiene?
Clean bottled drinking water, sub-zero refrigeration, anti-bacterial gels, dirt-free playgrounds, and sanitized kitchen counters- what do all these things all have in common?
If you guessed that these things all help to prevent disease, then guess again.
According to scientists, our standards of cleanliness are backfiring, killing healthy microscopic parasites that our bodies need to thrive.
Unlike people living in impoverished countries, where bug-ridden sacks of grain are commonly dealt with, we, with our clean, white processed bags of flour are nevertheless exclusive in our propensity for developing autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD),Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and asthma.
Dish out the dirt.
The hygiene hypothesis implies that modern-day medical technology and sanitary standards, such as vaccines, antibiotics, purified water, and refrigeration have caused autoimmune disease by disturbing the body’s natural balance of healthy parasitic worms.
Worm therapy was part of standard medicine in previous centuries. So it comes as no surprise to supporters of the hygiene hypothesis that autoimmune diseases were nonexistent in earlier times, arriving on the medical scene only in recent years.
According to Dr. Joel Weinstock, chief of gastroenterology and professor of immunology at Tufts University, instances of IBD went up from 1 out of 10,000 in the 50s, to 1 out of 250 in modern days.
Open up and say…well, you might want to close your eyes.
Beginning in October 2011, research participants will volunteer to swallow pig whipworm eggs, as part of a study focusing on treating autoimmune disease. By introducing worms into the digestive systems, scientists hope to find a cure for digestive disorders. By the end of the year, the whipworm larvae will have passed through the intestines, and scientists hope to find enough evidence to further the advancement of worm therapy for immunological diseases.
Deluded about the Digestive System? If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), then you’ll hear many myths about Crohn’s, colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); here are 15 IBD facts.
“IBD is a mental disorder,” and other digestive system myths
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a debilitating, autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both forms of IBD. People diagnosed with IBD often suffer in silence with symptoms like stomach bloating, cramps, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation.
That’s because people who have IBD are often ashamed to discuss it with friends and family. As a result, it is all too easy to fall victim to the many misconceptions, myths, and general confusion surrounding Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Fortunately, the truth is out there; you just have to know where to find it. Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions you’re likely to hear about digestive diseases.
IBD fallacies we’re tired of hearing:
1) “Supplements are useless for treating Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.”
Many homeopathic medicines and other alternative treatments are helpful for relieving symptoms like occasional constipation, nausea, and stomach pains.
Moreover, vitamin supplements such as vitamin B12 are beneficial for anybody suffering from IBD. More often than not, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with digestive disorders, for several reasons.
Sometimes, gastritis or other kinds of damage to the stomach inhibit your ability to digest vitamin B12, leading to severe depletion.
Other times, treatments for IBD, such as medications or surgeries (ileostomy) are the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
In such cases, regular supplementation of vitamin B12 is crucial to avoid debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
2) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the same thing as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”
IBD and IBS are two separate conditions that affect the body differently, although the symptoms are alike.
IBD causes severe inflammation of the intestinal tracts; with ulcerative colitis IBD, the colon is also affected.
IBS, or “spastic colon,” causes no lasting damage to the intestinal lining.
3) “By following a healthy diet, I have completely cured myself of IBD.”
There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and identifying “trigger foods” is an excellent way to alleviate many of the symptoms of IBD and prevent flare-ups, but you should nevertheless continue to visit your doctor, and take your medications, unless otherwise prescribed.
4) “I’ve heard that IBD is caused by really bad stress. And depression.”
It’s unclear exactly what causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Some scientists believe it may result from a virus.Still, we do know that certain factors may complicate IBD; prolonged stress, unhealthy diet, and smoking may exacerbate the symptoms of IBD, but they are not the underlying cause.
To minimize stomach ailments and stay in remission, you must continue to eat healthy, reduce stress, and avoid smoking.
5) You have Crohn’s disease? I’ve heard that IBD is just a fancy term for chronic diarrhea.”
Diarrhea is one of many symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
In some cases, Crohn’s disease patients don’t even suffer from diarrhea, making it even harder to get an IBD diagnosis. If you do suffer from chronic diarrhea, don’t ignore the symptoms; see a doctor immediately.
6) “If you don’t see any blood, then it’s just Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”
See a doctor if you have any digestive disease symptoms, even when blood is not present.
Just as the absence of diarrhea symptoms does not negate Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, neither does the absence of blood in your stool mean that you necessarily don’t have IBD.
7) “I’ve been having fewer bowel movements, so I must be in remission.”
Only your doctor can confirm if you are in remission.
Having fewer loose stools is only one of several indications. To find out for sure, visit your doctor for blood testing and a complete checkup.
8) “You have Crohn’s disease? That means you can’t have children.”
Most prescribed treatments for Crohn’s disease are safe to take during a pregnancy or while nursing a baby.
Unless you take antibiotics, thalidomide, or methotrexate, there is no reason why you may not plan to have a baby while continuing to take your Crohn’s disease medications.
Nevertheless, make sure that your OB/GYN knows about all medications you are taking, including IBD treatments and vitamin regimens.
9) “Once you’ve had ostomy surgery, you will never be able to conceive a child.”
There is no direct link between ostomy surgery and male or female infertility.
Ostomy surgery is a procedure in which a part of the intestines is removed, and the remaining piece is attached to a pouch that is connected to a tube protruding from a stomach opening. While there are some instances of erectile dysfunction following ostomy surgery, in most cases, that is not the norm.
Likewise, women who undergo ostomy surgery might have reduced sexual desires related to physical discomfort, poor body image, and the “newness” of the whole procedure, but her reproductive organs remain unaffected.