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Ulcerative Colitis And Crohn’s Disease Differences

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohns and Ulcerative Colitits

The sensitivity and specificity of EUS were 100% and 90.9% in our study. The sensitivity and specificity of mean mucosal thickness for differentiating UC form CD and Controls were 92.3% and 88.6% with a cut-off point of 1.1 mm while, sensitivity and specificity of mean submucosal thickness for differentiating CD from UC and Controls were 100% and 86.1% with a cut-off point of 1.08 mm. The thickness of colonic layers was also associated with disease activity indices, which shows the accuracy of this diagnostic method in determining disease activity for patients follow up, in addition to its diagnostic usage.

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.

Keep Up With Your Checkups

If you have either condition, you’ll need to keep up with your checkups, even if your symptoms start to ease up.

You may also need to get colonoscopies more often and start them at a younger age. A colonoscopy can check for cancer or polyps that need to come out. Experts recommend that you start these tests within 8 to 10 years of developing UC or Crohnâs symptoms, and then typically every 1 to 3 years after that. Your doctor will tell you a schedule that is best for you.

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When To See A Doctor

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease can cause unsightly and painful symptoms. After all, its always alarming to see blood in the stool. The symptoms can even be debilitating, affecting your daily activities.

If you develop any of the symptoms of either disease, contact your doctor right away. Healthline also says, IBD can even lead to scar tissue and increase the risk of colon cancer. All the more reason to see your doctor!

During your visit, your doctor will likely start by reviewing your medical history and asking you about your symptoms. If they suspect you may have an IBD they may refer you to a gastroenterologist for testing.

This Factsheet Is About Ulcerative Colitis

Crohns disease vs Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the rectum and the large bowel, . Ulcerative colitis is thought to affect around 1 in 420. The peak age of incidence between 15-25 years old with a smaller peak occurring between the age of 55 and 65 years old. But it can occur at any age.


Ulcerative colitis is one of a group of conditions that are known as Inflammatory bowel diseases, which also includes Crohns disease. Inflammatory bowel disease is different to Irritable Bowel Syndrome , which can cause similar symptoms but does not involve inflammation. The term colitis means the large bowel has become inflamed and if this becomes severe enough ulcers may form in the lining of the large bowel.

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Can You Drink Alcohol With Crohns Disease

  • Drinking alcohol is not recommended for most people with Crohns disease.
  • Alcohol may irritate the lining of the intestinal wall, causing or worsening symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding.
  • It also may contribute to malabsorption, further complicating nutritional deficiencies.
  • Alcohol interacts with many medications, causing side effects that may be serious.
  • Alcohol disrupts sleep cycles and can leave you feeling tired, and irritable the next day. However, if alcohol is well tolerated and not causing any complications, it can be consumed in moderation.
  • Chronic diarrhea can lead to dehydration very easily.
  • Dehydration makes you feel weak, tired, light-headed, or just blah.
  • Alcohol can cause headaches, abdominal pain, and other symptoms. It also can place dangerous strain on your kidneys.
  • Dehydration can be avoided by making a special effort to take in plenty of nonalcoholic fluids.
  • You should take at least 8 full glasses of fluid every day.
  • Try to stick to water, diluted fruit juice, sports drinks, decaffeinated beverages, and fruit and vegetable drinks.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and sodas.

Diagnosis Criteria & Disease Severity Assessment

To assess disease activity and severity of UC, we used Mayo disease activity score, which is a combined endoscopic and clinical score .

The Crohn’s Disease Activity Index was used to assess disease severity in patients with CD consisting of 8 factors of patients symptoms during previous seven days and clinical data that are adjusted with a weighting factor and then summed. The score ranges from 0 to 600 .

The disease was considered clinically active if the CDAI score was higher than 150 and Mayo Score was higher than 3 . All patients with UC had active disease, while only 86.7% of patients with CD had Active disease.

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Ulcerative Colitis Vs Crohn’s Disease: What’s The Difference

Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

The two primary forms of inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitisare often lumped together. Both include symptoms of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and an urgent need to defecate. However, some of their characteristics are very different.

This article discusses the similarities and differences between ulcerative colitis versus Crohn’s disease, including symptoms and treatments of both.

Whats The Difference Between Inflammatory Bowel Disease And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis: Differences

IBD is a disease IBS is a syndrome, or group of symptoms. The causes and treatments are different.

IBS is a type of functional gastrointestinal disease. It affects how the bowels function, causing them to contract more often than usual. IBS is also known as spastic colon or nervous stomach.

IBS doesnt inflame or damage the intestines like IBD, so imaging scans cant detect it and it doesnt increase the risk of colon cancer. People with IBS rarely need hospitalization or surgery.

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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.

Ulcerative Colitis And Weight Loss

Appetite loss is a challenge for people with UC. Symptoms like pain, nausea, bloating, and diarrhea may make you less likely to want to eat. Fatigue can deter you from preparing food.

You could feel full quickly and stop eating before youâve taken in enough calories. And maybe youâre anxious about trying new foods for fear theyâll worsen your symptoms.

Some researchers believe the inflammation of UC itself causes weight loss. Inflammation in your intestines is thought to increase a digestive hormone that tells your body youâre full. This could be your bodyâs way of protecting itself from foods that inflame your gut.

But inflammation means you need more, not fewer, calories to help you heal. Try your best to eat during a flare, even if you donât feel up to it.

To deal with appetite loss:

  • Eat smaller portions throughout the day, which keeps your blood sugar levels steady and discourages bloating
  • Choose nutritious foods that you like
  • Adjust your foodâs temperature if hot or cold meals trigger nausea
  • Drink plenty of fluids

If you struggle with your appetite, tell your doctor. Proper treatment of inflammation could help ease this symptom.

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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 .

You And Your Care Team Are In Control

ulcerative colitis vs Crohn

While there is no cure for UCwhile also knowing it can progress and symptoms can get worse over timeits important to remember that you and your doctor can get your disease under control. Recognizing the signs early and getting treatment right away is key. Thats why having open conversations with your doctor and being prepared for every appointment is crucial to managing your UC.

Speak openly with your doctor about how much your UC is truly impacting you. Make a personal action plan to see how much of your time your disease is affecting and get customized steps to help you and your doctor get control of your disease.

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Diagnosis Of Ulcerative Colitis And Crohns Disease

The right diagnosis is important as both diseases have similar symptoms. Different ways for doctors to diagnose it correctly include:

  • X-rays or Contrast X-rays that show which parts of the intestine have been affected
  • CT scans and MRIs to ensure its inflammatory bowel disease and rule out other diseases with similar symptoms
  • Endoscopy, a procedure in which a tiny camera is inserted into your digestive system to get a clear look
  • Scientists are also trying to improve several blood tests to make it better at diagnosing Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease

What Does Ulcerative Colitis Look Like

With UC there is a wide variation in the amount of inflammation from person to person, so that in mild cases the bowel can look almost normal but, when the inflammation is bad, the bowel can look very red and ulcerated. Ulcerative colitis usually affects the rectum, but occasionally there is no inflammation . Sometimes the inflammation is limited just to the rectum . However, the inflammation can involve varying lengths of the colon. When the whole large bowel is affected, this is called pan-colitis .

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When Surgery Is Needed

If medication isn’t reducing the inflammation and IBD progresses, surgery may be needed. This is where people with ulcerative colitis tend to fare better.

If the colon gets bad enough in ulcerative colitis, its removed and replaced with an internal pouch, which functions like a colon, says Cohen. According to the Mayo Clinic, colectomy surgery whether partial or full usually requires additional procedures that reconnect the remaining portions of the digestive system so they can still rid the body of waste.

However, things are looking up. A study published in December 2019 in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery found that due to advances in medicine and medical care for IBD patients over the past decade, the number of hospitalized patients with ulcerative colitis who require a colectomy decreased by nearly 50 percent between 2007 and 2016.

According to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation, proctocolectomy with ileal pouchanal anastomosis usually called J-pouch surgery is the most common surgery performed on people with UC who have not responded to medication. Surgeons remove the rectum and colon and then create a temporary opening in the abdomen, called a loop ileostomy, which will allow waste to move from the small intestine into an ostomy bag that sits outside the body while the digestive system heals from the surgery. In some cases a stoma, or permanent opening in the abdomen that funnels waste into an external bag, is required, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Crohns Disease Vs Ulcerative Colitis: Diagnosis And Treatment

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

Crohns disease is diagnosed through a detailed examination of ones medical and family history, as well as additional testing as needed.

Because Crohns disease can mimic other conditions like infections, diverticulitis, and cancer, its important to rule them out. Blood tests are ineffective in diagnosing Crohns disease, so an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, colonoscopy, and internal biopsy may be conducted.

Crohns disease has a long list of treatment methods because it does not have an exact cause to target. Treatment for Crohns disease may include corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressant agents, antibiotics, biologic agents, nutritional and dietary counseling, stress management, and, in severe Crohns disease cases, surgery to remove heavily affected areas of the intestines and colon.

Since some ulcerative colitis symptoms are similar to Crohns disease, it is important to get a thorough examination and diagnosis. Ulcerative colitis diagnosis is conducted through a number of tests. Essentially, it is a process of eliminating other conditions. If your doctor suspects an inflammatory bowel issue, they may conduct one or more of the following:

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Crohns Disease Vs Ulcerative Colitis: Us Prevalence And Incidence Rate

The CDC estimated that one to 1.3 million Americans is affected by IBD. Generally, ulcerative colitis is found to be more common in males where Crohns disease is more common in females. Prevalence of Crohns disease in the U.S. is 26 to 199 per 100,000 persons, and ulcerative colitis is 37 to 246 per 100,000 persons.

Incidence rate of Crohns disease is 3.1 to 14.6 cases per 100,000 person years, and for ulcerative colitis it is 2.2 to 14.3 cases per 100,000 person years.

Differences Between Ulcerative Colitis And Crohns Disease

The differences between ulcerative colitis and Crohnâs disease are:

  • In Crohnâs disease, there are healthy parts of the intestine mixed in between inflamed areas. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, is continuous inflammation of the colon
  • Ulcerative colitis only affects the inner most lining of the colon while Crohnâs disease can occur in all the layers of the bowel walls

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How Are Ulcerative Colitis And Crohn’s Disease Different

Ulcerative colitis symptoms reside in the large intestine only and often vary from person to person, depending largely on the part of the colon thats affected and the severity of the inflammation. It affects everyone differently, and symptoms range in severity. UC is a progressive disease and will change over time in your body.

Ongoing inflammation of the GI tract happens with both Crohns and UC, but there are a few key distinctions, such as:

  • With Crohn’s disease, there are healthy parts of the intestine mixed between inflamed areas. Ulcerative colitis includes continuous inflammation of the colon.
  • Ulcerative colitis only affects the innermost lining of the colon while Crohn’s disease can occur in all the layers of the bowel walls.

In approximately 10% of cases, an inflammatory bowel disease will exhibit features of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We typically refer to these as indeterminate colitis.

Again, symptoms for both conditions can vary greatly from person to person, so its important to have an honest conversation with a doctor who specializes in this area, such as the ones at Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute.

Differences In Where Inflammation Occurs

Ulcerative Colitis Vs Crohn

Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation only in the large intestine. The large intestine holds whats left over from digestion, mostly liquid, and its the last stop before waste moves to the rectum and leaves the body. The colon is about five feet long and plays a role in absorbing water and flushing unusable food material from the body. In people with ulcerative colitis, the colon and rectum are affected.

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Ulcerative Colitis Needs Innovation

UC is an ongoing type of inflammatory bowel disease that occurs because of an abnormal immune system response. The condition causes inflammation of the cells lining the colon and extends into the rectum. UC commonly affects adults aged between 30 and 40 years and can often results in disability.

A diagnosis of UC can be life changing, especially as many people are diagnosed as young adults 1 at a critical time in their lives, when they are moving away from home to study, starting a career, and embarking on their first serious relationships building an independent life. We have heard from those living with UC that they would rather not attend social occasions, parties with friends, but will stay at home to avoid getting into an embarrassing situation where they cant reach a toilet in time. For many of these young people diagnosed with UC, the idea that this is a life-long condition can make it more difficult to accept.

Living with ulcerative colitis is like having a dormant volcano existing inside me.

Ulcerative Colitis patient

My disease is under control, but my weight is out of control. I have lost all my confidence.

Ulcerative Colitis Patient, Italy

Around half of people living with moderate to severe UC or CD fail to achieve a sustained control of their disease on currently available therapies, indicating a need for new, alternative treatments. 2,3,4,5

Burden of UC

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