Celiac, IBS, Crohn’s: Know the Difference

Increased awareness of certain diseases has helped millions of Americans understand what’s causing pain and discomfort.  Digestive disorders have seen a rise in cases and attention over the years, mainly from awareness of the diseases and convenient testing. Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Crohn’s Disease are three of the most common digestive disorders, impacting millions of Americans each year. It’s essential to be aware of the symptoms and factors that increase someone’s risk of developing one of these disorders. 

Celiac Disease

This auto-immune disorder occurs when gluten in foods and drinks damages the small intestine. Celiac disease is relatively common, impacting 1 in 100 people worldwide. Additionally, there are an estimated 2.5 million Americans who are currently undiagnosed. Passed down through genetics, people are much more likely to be diagnosed with Celiac disease if their parent, child, or sibling have been diagnosed. In fact, there’s a 1 in 10 chance of having this disease if a first-degree relative has previously been diagnosed. 

Symptoms of Celiac can include: 

  • Fatigue
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands and feet
  • Seizures
  • Migraines
  • Canker sores
  • And itchy skin, amongst others

As time goes on and Celiac disease is left untreated, it increases one’s likelihood to develop severe medical conditions. These conditions may include infertility, miscarriages, lactose intolerance,  nervous system disorders, and neurological conditions. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

One of the most common digestive disorders, IBS impacts 25-45 million people in the United States and 1 in 10 worldwide. This disease attacks the large intestine and makes everyday tasks difficult and uncomfortable. Women are especially prone to this disorder, accounting for two-thirds of total cases. While IBS impacts people of all ages, a majority of cases occur in people under the age of 50. 

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation, amongst others

While the precise cause of IBS remains unknown, two factors can trigger its impact: stress and food. Most people with IBS will experience more challenging symptoms during periods of stress. However, this stress does not actually cause the symptoms. Certain foods may also trigger worsening symptoms in individuals with IBS. These foods typically include wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, beans, and carbonated drinks. 

Crohn’s Disease

Classified as an irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract. This disorder is common, with 3 million cases occurring each year across the United States. While it impacts different parts of the digestive tract for each person, it typically affects the intestines as a whole. 

Symptoms of this disease develop gradually and may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss

The side effects of each of these digestive disorders can make it tough to have a good overall quality of life. Comprehensive testing can help those who are experiencing symptoms understand their risk and plan accordingly. At ARCpoint Labs, we’re helping you take control of your wellness with convenient health panels. With a catalog of tests available to you, learn more about your body and your risks during a quick appointment. Find your nearest location and contact us today to get started. 

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