Crohn's and colitis: What's the difference? Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease primarily consists of two long-term disorders that involve inflammation of the gut - ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. 

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 19, 2017, 14:26 PM IST
Crohn's and colitis: What's the difference? Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease

New Delhi: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of intestinal conditions, affecting your digestive tract.

IBD primarily consists of two long-term disorders that involve inflammation of the gut - ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Difference between Crohn's disease and  ulcerative colitis 

While Crohn's disease affects the small intestine and large intestine, it can also affect the mouth, esophagus, stomach and the anus. Ulcerative colitis primarily affects the colon and the rectum.

Both the conditions can be debilitating and sometimes leads to life-threatening complications.

Inflammatory bowel disease can affect people of any age, but individuals between the ages of 15 and 40 are more prone to it.

Signs and symptoms of IBD

Although ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease affect people differently, both may show any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Swelling in the tummy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stool
  • Muscle spasms in the region of the pelvis
  • Weight loss
  • Fever and fatigue
  • loss of appetite

Depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs, symptoms may vary amongst patients.

Causes

Because IBD is a complex disease, the exact cause remains unclear. Doctors believe there are a few things that may play a role in the development of the disease - genetics, problems with the immune system.

Is there a cure for IBD?

At present, there's no cure for IBD, however, there are a number of treatments that aim to relieve the symptoms and prevent them from returning. They may include specific diets, lifestyle changes, medicines and surgery.

In order to create awareness about these diseases - Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day, or World IBD Day, is observed on May 19 each year.