IBS and IBD: What’s the Difference?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 3 million adults were diagnosed with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) within the last few years. The American College of Gastroenterology also reports that between 10 to 15 percent of U.S. adults experience symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). With many similarities, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two afflictions. Gladiator Therapeutics is here to help.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is not one disease but rather a broad group of disorders that impact the digestive system. These disorders cause inflammation in the intestines, leading to painful flare-ups. Common symptoms of an IBD include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Blood in your stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintended weight loss

The most common of these disorders are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

Ulcerative colitis is characterized by inflammation and sores that affect the colon, or large intestine, and the rectum. There are five categories that it can further be divided into according to the part of the digestive tract that it affects. 

Crohn’s disease primarily causes inflammation in just the intestines; whether it affects the small intestine or the large intestine depends upon each individual’s specific case. 

There are several risk factors that increase the risk of IBD, along with immune system malfunction and hereditary genes. Your age, race/ethnicity, family history, and diet can all play a role in whether or not you’re susceptible to being diagnosed with an IBD.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is one singular disorder that affects the body’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract and is commonly known as spastic colon. Unlike IBD, this syndrome is not caused by inflammation. It can actually be onset by severe cases of food poisoning, according to Dr. Mark Pimentel, director of Cedar-Sinai’s GI Motility Program. Many people can treat their symptoms by maintaining a certain diet and lifestyle while avoiding stress. Only a small percentage of those with IBS suffer from severe symptoms. Symptoms of IBS can include: 

  • Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating that is typically relieved or partially relieved by passing a bowel movement
  • Excess gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation
  • Mucus in the stool

While most cases of IBS are just minor inconveniences, those who suffer from severe cases need to monitor their condition. Severe symptoms can be a sign of something more, such as colon cancer. 

How Far Infrared Can Help

Far infrared therapy can help reduce painful symptoms and inflammation caused by either IBD, IBS, or both. The patented ceramics within the Gladiator Device produce far infrared energy, or photons, after coming in contact with the body’s natural, or ambient, heat. These photons help boost circulation in the body by breaking apart the water clusters located in plasma, leading to an increase in the flow of nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood. By improving the body’s blood flow, inflammation, pain, and stiffness are reduced. 

Good circulation is needed for good health.

NOTE: Content included here is not medical advice, and only is intended as information for adults. Always consult with your health care professional before making changes to diet, exercise, medication, or before use of any product or device.