Bowel Disorders

Provided by: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

There are several types of bowel disorders three of the most common are: Crohn’s disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, and Acute Diarrahea.

Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. The disease can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum.

Crohn’s disease seems to run in some families. It can occur in people of all age groups but is most often diagnosed in young adults. Common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and diarrhea. Bleeding from the rectum, weight loss, joint pain, skin problems and fever may also occur. Children with the disease may have growth problems. Other problems can include intestinal blockage and malnutrition.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Some go back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines.

IBS is a common disorder and happens more often in women than men. No one knows the exact cause of IBS. There is no specific test for IBS. However, your doctor may run tests to be sure you don’t have other diseases. These tests may include stool sampling tests, blood tests and x-rays. Your doctor may also do a test called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Most people diagnosed with IBS can control their symptoms with diet, stress management and medicine.

Acute Diarrhea
Acute diarrhea is usually related to a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection. Chronic diarrhea is usually related to functional disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.

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