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Anyone here been told they had IBS but actually had IBD?

  • By diagonalia11

    Hey everyone. I’m new to this group. I’ve been having what seemed like flare-ups of symptoms that started 3 years ago and I’ve always muscled through them because I’m not one to go to the doctor. My symptoms were like this: lower left and upper right abdominal pain, increased urge to go to the bathroom with no stool or very little, constant nausea that kept me up all night for weeks, weight loss (BMI of 14.2). This happened to me twice a year but I always shoved it aside and told myself it’s just a stomach bug and it’ll pass. Usually it did pass within 2-3 weeks. Well this year I landed in the hospital because I couldn’t even drink a glass of water anymore, that’s how bad my nausea was. Ultrasound was clean, basic blood work showed nothing but profound dehydration and I was sent home with nothing but a couple prescriptions for nausea and heartburn. ER doc recommended I see a gastroenterologist.

    Fast forward to a few weeks later, I’m still having symptoms but I saw a gastroenterologist who said it could be IBS. I didn’t know anything much about IBS, let alone IBD. Now that I looked up IBD, I realized it perfectly describes me. I am surprised that my doctor didn’t even mention it. He did send me to the lab for a stool test called fecal calprotectin, which I looked up and is supposed to test for IBD.

    Does anyone here have IBS and IBD? What is your experience? Is it true that I might just be scaring myself by looking up IBD, when all I could have is IBS?

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  • By thedancingcrohnie Moderator

    Hi @diagonalia11,

    I have both IBS and IBD. That is possible. Your symptoms sound like you could possibly have IBD but again I am not a doctor. Wait for those labs to get back and if you have high inflammation markers I would ask your gastro to do a colonoscopy. Another test you can ask for is to check your C-Reactive Protein which also shows your inflammation markers. If you do a colonoscopy and there is damage to your colon then you have IBD. IBS does not involve damage to your intestines, it is a functional disorder.

    You may find this article interesting as it describes the differences between IBS and IBD: https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net/what-is-crohns-disease/myths-and-misconceptions/

    And to answer your question, yes it could possibly be that you don’t have IBD at all and you just have IBS. Which would be the most desired outcome. I think the best thing to do, is to take deep breaths and just wait until you have the facts. The test results will be crucial in showing if you have inflammation. And then if those markers are high, I would suggest asking your gastro for a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy results will show if there is damage to the colon. So unfortunately, just like with everything in life, assuming and worrying does us no good. Try to be as patient as possible and wait for those test results to come in.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions what so ever. You have a community here to support you!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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