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Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Endometriosis?

From the Endometriosis Articles List

Endometriosis or irritable bowel syndrome IBSI was recently diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and am diagnosed with endometriosis. I have been reading how many ladies are misdiagnosed with IBS when the issue is actually endometriosis. Am I being misdiagnosed? Are my symptoms really bowel endometriosis?


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and endometriosis are common conditions and women can have both medical issues along with or separate from bowel endometriosis. In general, bowel endometriosis is asymptomatic but women with endometriosis can have bowel symptoms without having implants on their bowel walls.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. This means that IBS is not a disease and does not damage the GI tract. Instead, it is a group of symptoms that occur frequently and together. Symptoms can include cramping, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and discomfort, all of which can also be symptoms of bowel endometriosis. Both physical and mental issues can cause IBS symptoms.

Endometriosis can cause bowel symptoms leading to an IBS diagnosis even when there are no implants on the bowel. Endometriosis implants can release prostaglandins which can cause contractions of smooth muscle including the bowel. This can lead to intestinal cramping and diarrhea. Inflammation from endometriosis implants may also cause bowel symptoms. Endometriosis in areas adjacent to the bowel can even lead to bleeding during bowel movements. As stress and anxiety can play a part in IBS symptoms, those with endometriosis may have mental induced IBS symptoms as they deal with their chronic, painful condition.

To definitely confirm an endometriosis diagnosis, a laparoscopy is necessary. If surgery is done with a doctor who specializes in treating endometriosis, any implants could be skillfully treated during the diagnostic laparoscopy. You would also need to undergo a laparoscopy with a skilled and knowledgeable surgeon to determine if you have bowel endometriosis. Though complete penetration is rare, a colonoscopy may be performed to insure that no endometriosis has penetrated all layers of the bowel. Most bowel endometriosis is superficial and a skilled surgeon can remove it from the bowel without a resection. When endometriosis has penetrated through the bowel walls, a resection may be necessary.

Keeping a detailed symptom diary can help you and your medical team determine if you should undergo a laparoscopy and/or visit with a gastroenterologist to try to manage your symptoms.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

10-29-2012 - 05:08 PM


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