What are the Differences between Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Article Source: http://managedigestion.com/what-are-the-differences-between-crohns-disease-uc-and-ibd/


Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease are both Inflammatory Bowel Diseases affecting the bowel and colon. The common symptoms of these diseases are weight loss, severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and fatigue.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are found among many Americans. Symptoms of these conditions are abdominal pain, exhaustion, weight loss, and bloody diarrhea which can result in anemia. This has severe effects on the colon and bowel and can result in irritable bowel syndrome.

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) mostly attacks the mucosa and submucosa in the large intestine. It occurs normally in young adults starting from the age of 10 to 19 or 20 years old, irrespective of sex. Although the exact cause of this disease is not known, it is mostly attributed to infectious, immunological issues, nutritional and psychogenic related conditions, and both physical and emotional factors. Stress can be a major factor in the worsening of the illness. The presence of this disease may also be influenced by genes and environmental elements.

Ulcerative Colitis is usually indicated by frequent diarrhea. In acute cases, bloody diarrhea and severe pain and cramps in the abdominal region are major symptoms. This can also result in swelling of the abdomen. These conditions may result in anemia. The reduced intake of food and irritable bowel syndrome may bring down the water level and electrolytes in the body. Fever, weight loss, anorexia, and vomiting are the other features of this bowel disease.

Crohn’s Disease is more or less similar to UC. In fact, there are so many similarities between the two that sometimes it becomes difficult to differentiate between the two diseases. The main difference, however, is that Crohn’s does not attack the rectum, whereas Ulcerative Colitis does. Another major difference is that while UC affects only the mucosa and submucosa of the intestinal region, Crohn’s affects the muscularis propria in addition to the other two. Crohn’s Disease typically causes fistulas and strictures while UC results in deadly megacolon and if left untreated can even lead to colonic carcinoma. Due to constant inflammation and regeneration of the colonic wall, there appears a thickening of the bowel wall in Crohn’s Disease. In the case of UC however, the ulcerations made by the intestinal tract cause deep recesses or notches creating the appearance of pseudopolyps.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

However, an X-Ray can help differentiate between the two inflammatory bowel diseases. Although both classified as irritable bowel syndrome, the manner of treating ulcerative colitis is different from that of treating Crohn’s Disease even if some medications may be used for both. While diet plays a major role in Crohn’s, UC doesn’t seem to be affected much by diet.


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