Doctor's Notes on Diverticulitis vs. IBS
Diverticular disease (diverticulitis) is a condition in which small pouches (diverticula) in the wall of the digestive tract become inflamed or infected. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that describes a group of symptoms. IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is a more serious condition.
Symptoms of diverticular disease (diverticulitis) include
- abdominal pain, usually on the lower left side;
- bleeding, bright red or maroon blood in the stool,
- in the toilet (a symptom of rectal bleeding), or on toilet paper; f
- constipation, and
- less often, diarrhea.
- abdominal discomfort or pain,
- abdominal cramping and pain that is relieved with bowel movements, and
- alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation.
- sudden urges to have bowel movements,
- loose stools,
- frequent stools,
- abdominal pain and discomfort,
- gas, and
- the feeling of being unable to completely empty the bowels.
What is the treatment for diverticulitis and IBS?
- In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be required.
- Surgery is generally reserved for those with complicated or recurrent diverticulitis.
The treatment for IBS involves dietary changes and medications. Types of medications that may be used include
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
What is irritable bowel syndrome or IBS?See Answer
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.