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8 Symptoms That Mean It's Not IBS

It might not actually be IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not actually a disease. It’s a gastrointestinal syndrome, the name for a constellation of symptoms that can make you feel very uncomfortable in a few different ways. The symptoms typically include constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, mucus in your stool and diarrhea. Some people with IBS suffer more from constipation than diarrhea and vice versa. And still others experience alternating symptoms—constipation, followed by a bout of diarrhea, followed by another round of constipation. People often confuse IBS with a number of other disorders and diseases, since it does have some symptoms in common with other conditions. For example, you might also experience indigestion, fatigue, headaches, and backaches, which can overlap with other syndromes and illnesses. It may help to learn what symptoms are not associated with IBS, and if you develop any of these issues, it might be worth asking your doctor to reconsider your diagnosis.

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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Conditions with Similar Symptoms as: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition-symptom-links/conditions-with-similar-symptoms-as...
  2. IBS and IBD: Two Very Different Disorders. Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/resources/ibs-and-ibd-two-very.html
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome.
  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/basics/definition/con-2002457...
  5. Is This IBS? IBS Network. https://www.theibsnetwork.org/have-i-got-ibs/is-this-ibs/
  6. Kaitha S, Bashir M, Ali T. Iron deficiency anemia in inflammatory bowel disease. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology. 2015;6(3):62-72. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540708/
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