Tuesday, November 17, 2009 T, Community Member, asks

Q: How can you tell the difference between IBS and colon cancer?

I am a 31 year old female and mother of 4. For a about 4 days I have been bloated, had gas, constipated and have had diarreha; I have cramps and the feeling during a bowel movement of pressure, but no blood. The only blood I see is from me wiping and it is pink light spots more like irritation from all the  wiping. I've been told I was lactose intolerent and I had IBS (never dignosed) for about three days almost 2 years ago but it was not this intense where I have to pull over or stop to use the bathroom and it did not last this long. I am getting scared, I have been under alot of stress lately and I do have a sleeping disorder; and I have also gained weight before this started.

Answer This
Answers (1)
Elizabeth Roberts, Health Guide
11/17/09 4:04pm

Hi T,

 

IBS can cause all of the problems/symptoms that you describe. IBS symptoms can be severe or minor disturbances. Food can cause issues for some with IBS. And stress can be a major factor for many with IBS. Irritiable Bowel Syndrome is a diagnosis made after all other GI disorders have been ruled out. You may want to read my Sharepost about IBS - http://www.healthcentral.com/ibd/c/2623/90943/ibs.

 

Stress and diet, not colon cancer, are the most common reasons people tend to have GI distress. If you haven't seen a GI doctor then you probably should if this is affecting your day-to-day life.

 

You also may want to keep a food diary where you write down everything you eat and drink, how you feel afterwards, etc. Keep this journal for at least 2 weeks, a month is even better, and you may actually see a pattern of what you eat, or when you eat, and when your gut acts up. You may have a food intolerance that is causing problems. Or, you may be eating too much at one meal.

 

GI problems are not easy to diagnose, and even after you get a diagnosis solving the problem is not straight forward either. This is why I think looking at your diet and stress levels and learning how to reduce stress - yoga, light exercise, meditation - are good first places to start.

 

Hope this helps,

Elizabeth 

Reply
T, Community Member
11/17/09 5:19pm

Thank-you for answering; Today I notice when I eat certain foods I can feel it cramping up and before I finish I have to use the bathroom. I also think this has caused hemrroids and it is uncomfortable to sit, I'll make a doctor's appointment in the morning. Thanks again. I notice you  said you have IBD, is that different from IBS; the symtoms seem the same.

Reply
Elizabeth Roberts, Health Guide
11/17/09 7:41pm

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, while IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. They are not the same illness. You can read about them in my Sharepost here http://www.healthcentral.com/ibd/c/2623/66985/ibd-ibs-thing

 

 

Reply
Answer This

Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By T, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/07/12, First Published: 11/17/09