It's great you're thinking proactively! As I'm sure you are aware, there is Irritable Bowel Syndrome and there is Irritable Bowel Disease. When answering this question, it is important to distinguish between the two to be specific and thorough.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD
), which includes ulcerative colitis
and Crohn's disease
, is a condition in which the colon is inflamed over a long period of time. People who have had IBD for many years often develop dysplasia
. Dysplasia is a term used to describe cells in the lining of the colon or rectum that look abnormal (but not like true cancer cells) when seen with a microscope. These cells can change into cancer over time.
If you have IBD, your risk of developing colorectal cancer is increased, and you may need to start being screened for colorectal cancer at an earlier age and be screened on a more frequent basis
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating gas, diarrhea and constipation. Despite these uncomfortable signs and symptoms, IBS doesn't cause permanent damage to your colon.