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What is the difference between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and IBD?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) differs in many important ways from inflammatory bowel disease. When speaking of IBD, the two primary diseases are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Irritable bowel syndrome is defined as abdominal discomfort or pain associated with altered bowel habits for at least three days per month in the previous three months, with the absence of organic disease. UC and Crohn's disease are both considered organic diseases. IBS is a diagnosis made by your doctor, and there are no specific findings that make the diagnosis. Whereas, with the IBD's, the diagnosis can be made with a biopsy of the gastrointestinal tract.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.