Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.

Misdiagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease

Misdiagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease

A diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease may missed because its symptoms may be mistaken for symptoms of such conditions as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or diverticulosis. In addition, some people have such mild symptoms, that they mistake them for the symptoms of a less serious condition, such as gastrointestinal upset, gas, or gastroenteritis. This can result in a delay in seeking medical care and a diagnosis.

To ensure a prompt diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, you should always seek medical care if you experience bloody diarrhea, rectal bleeding, recurring bouts of diarrhea, abdominal pain, or fever....more about Inflammatory bowel disease »

Inflammatory bowel disease misdiagnosis: Inflammatory bowel disease may be misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome....more about Inflammatory bowel disease »

Alternative diagnoses list for Inflammatory bowel disease:

For a diagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Inflammatory bowel disease:

Diseases for which Inflammatory bowel disease may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Inflammatory bowel disease is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Inflammatory bowel disease: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Inflammatory bowel disease may include these medical conditions:

  • Risk factors for developing IBD other than genetic factors include:
  • Living in cities
  • Living in developed countries
  • Smoking
  • more causes...»

Rare Types of Inflammatory bowel disease:

Inflammatory bowel disease: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Inflammatory bowel disease: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Common Misdiagnoses and Inflammatory bowel disease

Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed. The best known, irritable bowel syndrome, is over-diagnosed, whereas other causes that are less known may be overlooked or misdiagnosed: celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (both are called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)), diabetic gastroparesis, diabetic diarrhea. Other possibilities include giardia, colon cancer, or other chronic infections.

Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance. The digestive system contains a variety of "good" bacteria that aid digestion, and they can decline for various reasons, leading to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea. The main treatment is to eat foods containing probiotics, typically yoghurt cultures. See intestinal imbalance and probiotics.

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria, but can also kill the "good" bacteria in the gut. This leads to "digestive imbalance" where there are too few remaining "good" bacteria in the digestive system. The treatment is typically to use "probiotics", such as by eating yoghurt cultures containing more of the good bacteria. See digestive imbalance and probiotics.

Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I ate" (i.e. food poisoning). In fact, it's more likely to be an infectious diarrheal illness (i.e. infectious diarrhea), that has been caught from another person. Such conditions may be transmitted via the fecal-oral route.

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed (it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect). One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis. Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.

Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive conditions is celiac disease, a malabsorption disorder with a variety of symptoms (see symptoms of celiac disease). A variety of other chronic digestive disorders tend to be diagnosed rather than this condition. See introduction to celiac disease or misdiagnosis of celiac disease.

Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases. Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, or GERD. Other sometimes overlooked possibilities include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic appendicitis, Celiac disease, Carcinoid syndrome, gastroparesis, and others. See all types of chronic digestive diseases.

Inflammatory bowel disease: Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

Failure To Diagnose Inflammatory bowel disease

Failure to diagnose Inflammatory bowel disease may be associated with the following:

  • The failure to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease can lead to joint complications (arthritis, joint pain, ankylosing spondylitis, back pain), skin problems (erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum), liver problems (gallstones, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver, sclerosing cholangitis), kidney stones, venous thrombosis and eye problems (uveitis, episcleritis, conjunctivitis)
  • Active undiagnosed inflammatory bowel disease can reduce fertility and increase the risk of spontaneous abortion
  • Failure to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease can result in complications such as toxic megacolon, colonic perforation, hemorrhage, abscess, anal fissures, anal abscesses, anal fistula or colonic carcinoma
  • The longer it takes to diagnose the condition, the more damage that can occur to the bowels
  • Failure to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease in children can lead to retarded growth or delayed or failed puberty
  • Peiranal disease may be unrecognized as a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease but may be considered as an isolated condition
  • Often a co-existing intestinal infection (bacterial, viral, fungal etc) is not diagnosed in inflammatory bowel sufferers and as a result their symptoms are exacerbated
  • Inflammatory bowel disease is often not diagnosed in people under the age of twenty as the disorder is often considered unlikely to occur in younger people
  • Undiagnosed children often suffer the complications and effects of malnutrition - poor growth, depression, sexual immaturity etc.

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Inflammatory bowel disease

The following may be hidden causes of Inflammatory bowel disease:

  • Certain types of inflammatory bowel disease may be inherited in a familial pattern i.e. tends to run in families
  • Genetic mutation may also have a role in the susceptibility to forms of non-specific inflammatory bowel disease
  • Immunological defects have been implicated in non-specific inflammatory bowel disease
  • Some reports suggest that frequent use of antibiotics may increase the risk of developing microscopic lymphocytic colitis
  • Some reports also suggest that the use of certain drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, simvastatin, H2-receptor antagonist) may increase the risk of developing microscopic collagenous colitis

Notes On Wrong Diagnosis Of Inflammatory bowel disease

Wrong diagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease may be associated with the following:

  • Often the type of inflammatory bowel disease is misdiagnosed which has implications as the treatment can vary depending on the type
  • Inflammatory bowel disease is often undiagnosed as patients may have few physical signs other than weight loss and general ill-health

Complications Of Misdiagnosis Of Inflammatory bowel disease

The following may be complications of misdiagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease:

  • The abdominal pain associated with inflammatory bowel disease may be misdiagnosed as acute appendicitis
  • The acute abdominal pain associated with Yersinia infection can be misdiagnosed as inflammatory bowel disease and vice versa
  • NSAID medication can cause a flare up of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Anemia due to inflammatory bowel disease may be diagnosed simply as anemia
  • Sudden onset of gastrointestinal symptoms due to inflammatory bowel disease such as diarrhea may be misdiagnosed as an intestinal infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal)

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Stress and lack of sleep can exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease symptoms

Misdiagnosis and Inflammatory bowel disease deaths

Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition that can possibly be deadly if misdiagnosed...more »

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease or confirming a diagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Inflammatory bowel disease may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Inflammatory bowel disease. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise