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Opinions on IBD vs IBS (getting dx. very soon)

Posted this on a IBS support forum too, wondering if any of you IBD dx. can give some helpful input, very much appreciated :)

I am visiting my doctor tomorrow or next week to get a dx, but for now some opinions from those already with IBS would be nice. I've had these symptoms for 2+ years now, but it never really became much of an issue for me except within this last week (flaring up?), and have had a little excess stress/anxiety

I'm nearly 100% confident I do have a problem, just not sure if it falls under IBS more or IBD. will also be inquiring about parasites.

-i only have 1 bowel movement a day, in the morning (nearly always)
-if not, by midday my stomach begins rumbling/making sounds (hasnt happened in months)
-diarrhea has always been more common to me, but recently its about 80% of the time now, and within the last week I've seen blood in about 60% of my BM (red, stools anywhere from orange, to brown with some red). have had normal stools during this time (10-20%)
-my stomach feels 'empty' for a while after bowel movements
-very rarely if i have to go very bad (lets say i skip a bm for the day), ill get a sharp pain that lasts about ~5s that gets relieved after i pass gas on the toilet. if i dont go it flares up again in minutes
-no pain during bowel movements, or if it is it really is minor and im not feeling it
-have had bouts of constipation during this time
-no weight loss, although I do have a rough time gaining weight (used to be 175pds from working out which took alot of eating, currently 160 at 6 foot since I've stopped due to injuries unrelated for sure).
-havnt had stomach pains since i can recall, but minor abdominal pains lasting seconds has flared up in past week.
-also have a semi anxiety disorder (90% of the time under self control)
-havnt grown in years (only 17 atm), but I'm as tall as my father (6") so I'm not sure if this is delayed growth or not

for some info on why IBD may not be as likely...

-have had a blood test in Feb. done, normal results on red blood count and white blood count.

sorry if i went too detailed ;/, just wanting an accurate opinion. pretty much will be showing my doctor this too.


Staff member
Hi Jmike
Welcome to the forum
Blood in stool is never normal and certainly needs investigation., neither does it fit with IBS., although IBS may be present at the same time as IBD and other conditions.
A colonoscopy is needed to be definitive about what is going on inside you,so it is an important move for you to be seeing a GI specialist.There are also specific blood tests you should have such as full blood count, ESR, CRP, Vit B12 level, Ferritin--- to name a few.
Which doctor is seeing you tomorrow, is it your family doctor?
If so it may be necessary for you to ask at some point to be referred to a GI specialist.
Keep in touch and let us know how you get on tomorrow.
Feel better soon
Hugs and best wishes


Staff member
PS We are patients on the forum ,not doctors and give you our opinions based on personal experiences.
Opinions can differ so it would be incorrect to to refer to accurate opinions.
Unfortunately, none of us here can give you an accurate diagnosis. The one troubling symptom is the bleeding, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have IBD.

I can tell you that based on what you wrote, your doctor will probably think it's IBS. The reasons are as follows:
1.) You have alternating diarrhea and constipation
2.) You said that you have a semi anxiety disorder
3.) No weight loss, excessive bowel movements, or troubling blood work

IBS is often associated with depression or anxiety disorders. The "hallmark" symptom of IBS is alternating diarrhea and constipation. Doctors tend to look for the "classic" Crohn's symptoms, such as weight loss, anemia, constantly running to the bathroom, severe abdominal pain, etc; none of which you said you have.

This doesn't mean that you don't have Crohn's. We are all different, and symptoms vary considerably from person to person. You just need to be tested thoroughly, so that you know what you're dealing with.

The one thing that I can tell you is that once you say that you have an anxiety disorder, the doctor will look at you differently. I was put on an antidepressant for migraines, whenever I told GI's that I was on it, they automatically tried to fit my symptoms to IBS. Even though I do not have depression, anxiety, or any mood disorders, they still labeled me as such. It was very frustrating.

You just need to find a good doctor who will not jump to conclusions before the tests have been done. I wish you the best of luck.

thanks alot guys, i do realize that i am getting patient opinions here (its still reassuring nonetheless) I am seeing my family doc tomorrow and will ask for a specialist, although I'm not sure how serious he'll consider it as I do have semi-hypochondria (i have been fine for the past 17 years, within the last month I acquired it for a 2-3 week span, its fine now and I dont think it'll be coming back but I did go to the doc for my concerns)


Staff member
Naples, Florida
It's pretty simple really. If you don't have hemorrhoids causing bleeding then it's not IBS. IBS does not cause blood in your stools. That doesn't necessarily mean it's IBD as there can be other causes for blood in your stool, but sure as hell don't let them give you an IBS diagnosis and send you on your way without explaining why there is blood in your stool.
doctor dx said most likely ibs (meh), inquired about ibd and she said my symptoms were not in line with it, mentioned my concern about possible misdiagnosis, she was quite reassuring. the blood was accounted for, she didnt find any in my rectal exam today but a small hemeroidd was found and was given ointment. opinions? she was quite nice ( not regular doc)

if blood continues i will be seeing a specialist


Staff member
Naples, Florida
IBS should be a diagnosis of exclusion. Have you had:

1. A colonoscopy with mast cell staining
2. A small bowel follow through or capsule endoscopy
3. Fecal lactoferrin or fecal calprotectin
4. Evaluated for celiac disease

Few things piss me off more than people who are diagnosed with IBS and years later end up here with severe IBD because they weren't properly evaluated and diagnosed when it was mild.

"Most likely IBS" doesn't sit well with me. "I am sure it is IBS because I have been thorough and done my job" is acceptable.
i will be going back in a week or so, and will try again, not sure how serious I'll be taken but this time I'll go to my regular doc, if that doesn't work I'll try to get a recomendation for these tests from my friend's mother who happens to be a doc.