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What is the difference between IBS and gastritis?

Gastroenterology Health & Fitness

Hello, I'm a 23 year old female and I suspect I might have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Some symptoms I have experienced are occasional strange growling from stomach even after food, and feeling bloated most of the times. The worst thing of all is I also experience the urge to fart after eating, which I'm unable to control. Even after farting, I still feel a pile of gas that's waiting to be released, and it's really difficult for me because I can't go out in public places easily due to the constant urge to fart. I have read that gastritis can cause similar symptoms. I would like to find out what's the difference between IBS and gastritis? I am not sure if gastritis may be related to my IBS symptoms.

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Gastritis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach. The diagnosis is made by gastroscopy and biopsy, but can often be suspected based on symptoms. IBS is a condition affecting the intestines, and is thought to be due to problems with the muscles and nerves of the intestine, which in turn causes problems with gut movement and sensitivity. IBS diagnosed using symptoms, and endoscopy and biopsy would be normal.

Based on your predominant symptoms of bloating and excessive flatulence, your problem might be neither gastritis nor IBS. You may have what is classified as 'Functional Bloating'.

Hydrogen/ methane breath testing is a simple and accurate way to diagnose common causes of bloating like sugar intolerance and bacterial overgrowth.

A dietary approach is also useful to identify the exact foods that generate the gas, which is different for every patient. These strategies have been shown to help the majority of patients with bloating and flatulence. My experience also shows this to be true in Singapore.

I hope this helps.


Dr Jarrod Lee
MBBS(S'pore), MRCP(UK)

Jarrod Lee Gastroenterology & Liver Clinic
38 IRRAWADDY ROAD
MOUNT ELIZABETH NOVENA SPECIALIST CENTRE
#10 - 58 Singapore 329563

1256 views 11 Sep 2018

Your symptom description suggests you might have a sensitive stomach and bowel, which are the most common causes for GI symptoms at your age.

The problem of passing gas could be related to the diet that you consume. Please avoid too much of garlic and onion.

You may want to check on FODMAP diet on the internet, as diet high in FODMAP can produce abdominal bloating and flatulence.

Gastritis means inflammation in your stomach, which could be non specific or due to certain causes like Helicobacter pylori infection or painkiller. Irritable bowel syndrome points to bowel sensitivity.

Dr Loh PY

Consultant Gastroenterologist


Dr Loh Poh Yen
MBBS, MRCP (UK), M.MED (Internal Medicine), FAMS (Gastroenterology)

Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Singapore Medical Specialists Centre
290 ORCHARD ROAD
PARAGON
#09 - 23 TO 27, 30/31 Singapore 238859

1224 views 11 Sep 2018
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