Difference Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Ulcerative Colitis

Both Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and the inflammatory bowel illness ulcerative colitis (IBD) are gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder, while irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a non-inflammatory form of gastrointestinal distress.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

It's a digestive disorder characterised by frequent episodes of stomach pain and discomfort. In addition, you may have gas, cramps, a lack of bowel movement, nausea, stomach pain, indigestion, diarrhoea, or constipation.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes ulcerative colitis. As a result of this illness, the colon becomes inflamed. Symptoms include primary sclerosing cholangitis, leg cramps, diarrhoea, and blood in the stool.

Differences: IBS and Ulcerative Colitis

The following table highlights the major differences between IBS and Ulcerative Colitis −



Ulcerative Colitis


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a GI illness. This is a functional issue, not a degenerative illness.

The symptoms manifest when the body experiences mental stress, hormonal disruption, or distention of the gas organs.

Ulcerative colitis is a kind of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterised by inflammation of the intestinal wall, which may result in bowel ulcers and intestine constriction.

This disorder is characterised by intermittent episodes of flare ups and remissions and has no known causal factors.

Medical term for the stone

  • Recurrent pain in the abdomen

  • Cramping or discomfort

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Appetite loss

  • Discomfort

  • Urgency to defecate

  • Bloating

  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea

  • Blood in the stool

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Urgency to defecate

  • Rectal and abdominal pain

  • Blood or pus in diarrhea

Type of pain

  • A surplus of bacteria in the intestines

  • Muscle contraction in the intestines

  • Early life stress (some stressful events that might shave happened in the childhood)

  • Changes in gut microbes

  • Abnormalities in the nerves in your digestive system

  • Levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals messengers that transmit nerve signals) and GI hormones are modified in some people with irritable bowel syndrome

  • Food intolerances

  • Genetics and family history

  • Other immune disorders

  • Environmental factors like bacteria, viruses, and antigens


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is brought on by stress and stems from a dysfunction in the communication between the brain and the digestive tract. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis is brought on when the immune system reacts abnormally, mistaking healthy cells and bacteria in the gut for harmful foreign agents and destroying them.

Updated on: 26-Apr-2023


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