Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Cause Bleeding?

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IBS (irritable bowel syndrome, also called spastic colon) is a disorder affecting large intestines, as the name suggests. It is commonly characterized by changes in the bowel movements, constipation, diarrhea, alternating constipation & diarrhea, abdominal pain, and gas bloating. How about bleeding symptom, blood found in the stool for example?

One thing you should clearly understand, it is not the same as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). If you have IBS, you still have normal structure of bowel. In other words, it usually will not cause serious damage for the intestines.

Can you cure IBS? Many experts say that though it is relatively less severe than IBD (including ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease), it still has no cure. It is a chronic condition – the symptoms may last for a few weeks /a month then disappear for a while. The good news, it’s also possible to keep the symptoms off (remission) for most of the time.

How to distinguish between the symptoms of IBS and other intestinal problems?

Spastic colon is one of health problems that can be diagnosed though physical examination. In many cases, doctors only need to closely analyze the symptoms that occur to diagnose the condition. Sometimes, a few tests may be required – but still, there is no specific test to diagnose it!

The Rome-III-criteria (an expert panel) that outlines the list of IBS symptoms is often used by doctors to diagnose spastic colon – according to WebMD. Nevertheless, an individual who doesn’t experience all of the symptoms listed on the Rome-III-criteria may still have the syndrome.

According to the Rome III criteria, you will meet the criteria of having IBS if [reference]:

  1. The symptoms that you have began at least six months ago.
  2. You also had top leading symptoms (particularly such as abdominal discomfort /pain) for at least three days every month in the last 3 months.
  3. And at least you have 2 of the following conditions: (a) the pain is correlated to a change in the consistency /appearance of the stool, (b) the pain is correlated to a change of the intensity (how often) of your bowel movement, and (c) the pain is often relieved after a bowel movement.
  4. Ask a doctor for in-depth information!
IBS_and_bleeding_illustration

Furthermore, spastic colon is often associated with some of the following conditions:

  1. Changes associated with your bowel movement. You may have it less often than usual (constipation) or more often than usual (diarrhea).
  2. You may have alternating constipation and diarrhea – constipation symptom which then followed with diarrhea.
  3. You may notice mucus in the stool.
  4. Feeling of gas or bloating in the gut.
  5. Changes of the way to pass the stool. If you have IBS, you are more likely to strain more and get an urgent need for bowel movement. You may also often feel that your stomach gets full quickly or you have not passed the stool completely.
  6. Changes of the consistency of bowel movements and size of the stool (smaller, pencil-thin, harder, or watery).
  7. Other less common conditions that are not liked directly to the intestines may also occur. Some of them are urinary problems (such as urgent need for urination /frequent urination), problems associated with your sexual (such as decreased libido and pain during intercourse), fluttering, lower back pain, insomnia (sleeping problems), bad-taste in the mouth, headache, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

In addition, there are also many health conditions that can cause similar symptoms of IBS. Some of them are GERD /gastroesophageal reflux disease, endometriosis (a kind of disease that affects the female reproductive organs), thyroid disease, heath problems associated with pancreas, celiac disease (a malabsorption syndrome), lactose intolerance, gallstones, parasitic infection, IBD, diverticulitis, abuse of antacids /laxatives, etc.

So, don’t jump directly to your own conclusion for any symptoms that you have. Call and ask your GP /doctor for a clearly diagnosis and more advice!

Does irritable bowel syndrome cause bleeding?

From the list of symptoms mentioned above, bleeding (such as blood in the stools) is not commonly linked to IBS. If you are diagnosed with spastic colon and you also notice blood in the stools, you should see a doctor promptly for diagnosis and appropriate treatments!

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