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Crohn’s Vs Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

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Daily Life For People With Ibd

Crohn’s Disease vs Ulcerative Colitis Nursing | Crohn’s vs Colitis Chart Symptoms, Treatment

People with IBD lead useful and productive lives, even though they need to take medications. When they are not experiencing a flare-up of their disease, they feel quite well and are often free of symptoms.People with IBD can marry, enjoy sexual activity and have children. They can hold down jobs, care for families and enjoy sport and recreational activities.Even though there is currently no cure for IBD, medical therapy has improved the health and quality of life of most people with Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Research underway today may lead to further improvements in medical and surgical treatment, and even a cure.

Living With Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

Your ulcerative colitis symptoms will likely come and go, with longer periods in between flares when you may not experience any discomfort at all. Those periods are called remission, and they can span months or even years. Because there is not yet a cure for ulcerative colitis, your symptoms will eventually return.

Ulcerative colitis is an unpredictable disease, and the length of periods of remission between flares can make it difficult for doctors to evaluate whether your course of treatment has been effective or not.

Inflammation In Other Areas

Some people with IBD have painful inflammation in other areas of the body, including:

  • joints of the fingers, hands, feet, ankles and knees
  • joints of the spine, including vertebrae and sacroiliac joints

Two specific skin problems that can occur as a result of IBD are:

  • pyoderma gangrenosum small, sunken ulcers on the skin
  • erythema nodosum painful, small, reddened nodules on the skin .

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Signs And Diagnosis Of The Inflammatory Bowel Disease

In order to accurately diagnose CD and UC, modern medical equipment such as upper gastrointestinal radiography, endoscopy, colonoscopy, and gastrointestinal tract sampling are employed. The above mentioned equipment will help differentiate between these two diseases. However, it is very difficult to diagnose these two diseases in severe cases and in severe infection of the colon. Ulcerative colitis can emerge in various forms, such as inflammation of the rectal lining and panniculitis which occur in 40% and 20% of cases, respectively. In this disease, the results of the colonoscopy test indicate a progressive inflammation that affects the entire region of the rectum and colon. Moreover, some of the obvious clinical symptoms of this condition show that the colonic mucus is red with severe inflammation and small ulcers can be found around the colon. Once UC gets worse, benign tumors may develop in the bowel wall. One of the most prominent symptoms of UC severe inflammation of the colonic mucus layers as well as severe inflammation of the rectum, which may extend to the deeper areas of the intestine. It can also affect the colon muscle layer. As a result, the number of intestinal movements decreases. This is known astoxic megacolon which is characterized by a much dilated colon, accompanied by abdominal distension and sometimes fever, abdominal pain, or shock .

What Symptoms Do Colitis And Ulcerative Colitis Share

Difference between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn

Colitis can cause similar belly and bowel issues no matter the cause. Some symptoms are mild while others are more serious.

General signs of colitis and UC include:

  • An urgent need to poop
  • A feeling like you didnât get all your poop out

If you have periods, you may have:

  • Worsening diarrhea during your period

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Nutritious Foods To Combat Ulcerative Colitis Complications

People with ulcerative colitis commonly experience anemia and unintended weight loss. Anemia is a low red blood cell count caused by chronic blood loss. It can cause fatigue unless treated. For this reason, the nutrients folate, magnesium, calcium, and iron are of special importance for individuals with UC.

Furthermore, steroid medications such as prednisone may contribute to risk of osteoporosis, which puts emphasis on dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K. Here are the vital body functions that depend on each of these nutrients, along with food sources rich in each.


Calcium is important for healthy bones, teeth, and the heart. The best food sources include dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, and more. Nondairy sources of calcium include sardines , fortified soy milk and almond milk, tofu, kale, broccoli, and chia seeds.


Folate is crucial for cell division and DNA synthesis. It is found in avocados, black-eyed peas, spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and fortified breakfast cereals.


Iron is an important mineral that helps transport oxygen in red blood cells from the lungs to body tissues. It is found in fortified breakfast cereals, tofu, spinach, lentils, chickpeas, and cashews.


Magnesium is an important electrolyte that may be lost through sweating or diarrhea. Foods such as halibut, nuts, nut butters, spinach, potatoes with skin, black-eyed peas, and spinach are rich in magnesium.

Vitamin D

What Sets Them Apart

There are three key differences:

1. Location.

Ulcerative colitis affects only the large intestine.

But in Crohnâs disease, inflammation can appear anywhere in the digestive tract, from the mouth to the .

2. Continuous inflammation.

People with Crohnâs disease often have healthy areas in between inflamed spots. But with ulcerative colitis, there are no healthy areas in between inflamed spots.

3. Which layers are affected.

Because Crohnâs disease affects more of the GI tract, it can cause some problems that doctors don’t usually see in people who have ulcerative colitis. For instance:

  • Mouth sores between the gums and lower lip, or along the sides or bottom of the tongue.

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Treatment Of Ibd Complications

Treatment depends on the particular complication, but may include:

  • complications caused by nutritional deficiencies vitamin and mineral supplements , changes to diet or a liquid diet in severe cases
  • inflammation in other body areas usually ease when the bowel inflammation is controlled with medication
  • fistulas small openings that often heal by themselves, with treatment to ease the inflammation. A person may need surgery to close a larger fistula. Abscesses may need antibiotics and surgical drainage
  • intestinal obstruction in some cases, medical treatment to ease the inflammation will clear the obstruction. In severe cases, the person will need surgery
  • toxic megacolon the person goes to hospital, and receives fluids and nutrients intravenously instead of by mouth, plus antibiotics and steroids to reduce inflammation. Sometimes, the doctor will remove the contents of the persons stomach with a slender tube . A ruptured bowel needs surgical repair or removal. In severe cases, the whole of the large bowel may need to be surgically removed.

Spread Awareness During Crohns & Colitis Awareness Week

Ulcerative Colitis versus Crohn’s Disease, Animation

Help spread awareness about these two diseases during Crohns & Colitis Awareness Week. Many people may know of these diseases, but may not be aware of the symptoms of Crohns disease, the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, and how they differ.

If you or a loved one have experience with an inflammatory bowel disease, share your story and help educate others.

To learn more about Saber Healthcare and our services, .

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.


  • Crohns & Colitis Awareness Week. Crohns & Colitis Foundation, Accessed December 1st, 2021. .
  • Crohns Disease. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Mayo Clinic. October 13th, 2020. Accessed December 1st, 2021. .
  • Crohns Disease. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus. October 28th, 2021. Accessed December 1st, 2021. .
  • Ulcerative Colitis. Cleveland Clinic, April 23rd, 2020. Accessed December 1st, 2021. .
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    Digestive System Parts: A Brief Anatomy Overview

  • Food enters your mouth, or oral cavity, where your teeth, tongue, and saliva begin breaking it down.
  • Once you swallow, it travels down your throat, through your esophagus, and is delivered to your stomach.
  • Once in your stomach, your food is further churned with gastric secretions to break down particles into digestible form.
  • From there, its ushered into your small intestine which consists of three distinct parts the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Your small intestine is lined with millions of tiny finger-like projections known as villi. These villi help absorb nutrients allowing them to pass from your GI tract to your bloodstream.
  • Up next, the partially digested food enters your large intestine, which is made up of the cecum, the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon, and finally, the sigmoid colon. The primary responsibility of your large intestine is to absorb water and electrolytes while storing undigested matter until its ready to be excreted.
  • Now that we got that out of the way, lets take a deeper look at each of these conditions of the digestive tract.

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    • Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease .
    • Ulcerative colitis is located only in a persons large bowel .
    • Diet and food allergies do not cause IBD.
    • Medications help manage the symptoms of IBD.
    • People with IBD can lead useful and productive lives.
    • Some dietary changes can help you manage symptoms of IBD and allow medications to work better.
    • Always talk with your doctor, healthcare specialist or dietitian before changing your diet. Arrange an emergency plan of action with your doctor, including after-hours phone numbers.

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    Causes Of The Disease

    Although the main cause of the IBD has not yet been fully understood, the comprehensive studies carried out in this regard highlight the role of genetic and environmental factors. Heymen et al. suggested two approaches for the main causes of IBD: 1. Disruption of the mucous system increases the immunological response rate in the human microbiota . 2. Any change in the content of the gut flora or the disruption of the epithelium function stimulates the pathologic response in the normal mucous system. On the other hand, Podolsky pointed out that pathogenicity in inflammatory bowel disease depends on factors such as the patients susceptibility, mucosal immunity, and microflora of the intestine .

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    In humans, some of these viruses are common and cause mild symptoms like the common cold, while other types of human strains can be more severe. A new coronavirus affecting humans, named SARS-CoV-2, was identified at the end of 2019. SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19. Reported COVID-19 cases have ranged from mild to severe, including death.

    Research suggests that most people taking immunosuppressants for IBD are still able to mount an immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine. Health Conditions Featured.

    Both Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis the two main forms of IBD cause chronic inflammation in the intestines, triggering symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss. The.

    Symptoms of disease flare that can mimic COVID-19 The clinical presentation of several gastrointestinal diseases can mimic COVID-19 infection . Examples include diseases that manifest with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and/or anorexia . Thus, for patients with an existing diagnosis of chronic GI disease, the clinician will need to assess whether symptoms are related to a disease flare or COVID-19.

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    • Invites to industry events .
    • Even entire buyouts of companies.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis

    Recognizing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis is your first step toward knowing when your disease is in a flare and when to seek medical attention.

    The symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary from person to person and about half of all ulcerative colitis patients experience mild symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your healthcare provider.

    • Loose and urgent bowel movements

    • Persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain and blood in the stool

    Key Differences: The Symptoms

    While the two diseases are similar, there are also a few notable differences that set them apart including some of their symptoms and where the inflammation develops. Only a health professional will be able to determine which type of IBD you have, so its important to explain all your symptoms to your doctor or GI specialist.

    While their symptoms may seem similar on the surface, Everyday Health points out that ulcerative colitis is mostly characterized by blood stool with mucus and frequent diarrhea, whereas Crohns disease is often marked by nausea, weight loss, and vomiting, with only occasional rectal bleeding, and diarrhea. Crohns can also cause mouth sores, or inflammation of the skin, joints, and eyes which are not symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

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    What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Crohn’s Disease And Ulcerative Colitis

    Doctors diagnose ulcerative colitis by endoscopy . During this procedure, the doctor can see and take pictures of the patient’s abnormal gut mucosa , and the presence of continuous disease . Other blood tests and imaging tests like CT scans or MRI are used, but these tests are not definitive.

    Doctors use the same procedures and tests to diagnose Crohn’s disease. However, they also use small bowel studies, colonoscopy, and upper GI endoscopy to identify the abnormal gut mucosa that usually occurs in multiple areas anywhere in the intestinal tract. These areas are not continuous but are separated by normal areas of the intestinal mucosa that distinguish them from ulcerative colitis lesions.

  • Crohn’s disease can leave you vulnerable to infections and other diseases.
  • They can stop anyone from looking, feeling, or performing at his or her best.
  • As with Crohn’s disease, nutrition is important if you have ulcerative colitis because symptoms of diarrhea and bleeding can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and loss of nutrients. It may be necessary to take nutritional supplements if your symptoms do not allow you to eat a nutritionally balanced diet. Talk to your healthcare professional about what supplements to take.

    Ulcerative Colitis Vs Crohns Disease

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohns and Ulcerative Colitits

    Though causing similar symptoms, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are distinct conditions that affect different parts of the GI tract and must be diagnosed with different tests.

    Ulcerative colitis affects the colon and rectum, with inflammation found only in the colons innermost layer. Because of its location, ulcerative colitis is diagnosed with a colonoscopy. During this procedure, a thin flexible tube known as a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum and guided to the digestive tract. A tiny camera on the end gives physicians a clear view of any disease in the colon or rectum.

    Crohns disease, on the other hand, typically affects the small intestine , though it can be found anywhere in the GI tract. For diagnosis, an upper endoscopy and/or colonoscopy may be necessary.

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    Diseases Of The Digestive Tract With Different Causes

    Your digestive tract must maintain a delicate balance. One that allows you to absorb nutrients from the outside world while simultaneously defending you against harmful microbes that sneak in alongside those nutrients.

    To balance these two divergent needs, the thin lining that makes up the innermost part of your digestive tract is heavily guarded with lymphoid tissue and immune cells. This is meant to protect you, but in inflammatory bowel conditions, the immune cells and tissue lining your gut become unnecessarily activated creating inflammation without infection.

    Pinpointing the exact cause of this inflammation can sometimes be tricky considering that Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease can all have nearly identical symptoms. Lets explore exactly what these symptoms can be.1

    Types And Symptoms Of Ibd

    Symptoms tend to vary depending on the type of IBD. A comparison of the key features in Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis is shown in Table 1. Patients affected by ulcerative colitis tend to experience pain in the lower left part of the abdomen as well as diarrhea. As a result, they may experience weight loss and blood on rectal examination. In contrast, patients with Crohns disease experience pain in the lower right abdomen, and bleeding from the rectum is less frequent than in ulcerative colitis. The most common complication of Crohns disease is blockage of the intestine due to swelling, which results in thickening of the bowel wall. Moreover, people affected by this disease often encounter problems related to malnutrition or the presence of nutritional deficiencies, as a result of poor absorption. Several studies have found an increased risk of death in people affected by Crohns disease. Analyses of colorectal and small bowel cancer studies have found that people with Crohns disease also suffered with comorbidities such as colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease.11,12 Similarly, there have been several studies of the mortality associated with ulcerative colitis. However, no significant difference in mortality risk was reported with ulcerative colitis. Indeed, it was shown that people with ulcerative colitis have the same mortality risk as the general population.13,14

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    What Causes Ulcerative Colitis

    However, there are cases where the diagnosis of one form of IBD over the other is very difficult. At times, a final diagnosis is possible only after an event during the course of the disease or its treatment makes the form of IBD readily apparent.

    Patients with IBD may be very confused as to the differences between these diseases. As with any chronic condition, education is an important tool to become an active participant in ones own treatment plan.

    If your diagnosis isnt firm, dont panic. In some people, it can take time to determine if the IBD is more like Crohns disease or more like ulcerative colitis. In about 5-20% of cases, people are diagnosed as having indeterminate colitis .

    IBD is becoming increasingly treatable and there are now many medications in the arsenal that are helping people with all forms get greater control over their disease. The main differences between ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease are described below.

    • Smoking can worsen condition

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