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Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis And Symptoms Of Crohn's Disease Are Different

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Updated July 08, 2014

Doctor and patient viewing colonoscopy images

People with IBD will often have colonoscopies on a regular basis. Expect to form a relationship with your physician and see them frequently to manage the IBD.

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The two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) -- Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis -- have several signs and symptoms in common, but they are very different conditions. One of the main differences between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis is the location of the disease. Crohn's disease can affect the digestive tract anywhere between the mouth and the anus, while ulcerative colitis only affects the large intestine (or colon). A second important difference is that in Crohn's disease, inflammation involves all layers of the intestinal wall, and ulcerative colitis affects only the inner lining.

Another key difference between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis is the presence of comorbid (or associated) conditions. Strictures, fistulas, and fissures tend to be more common in Crohn's disease, while toxic megacolon is more common in ulcerative colitis. Distinguishing between the two forms of IBD can be difficult at times, but knowing the difference between the two is extremely important for treatment. Here you will find a list of symptoms of ulcerative colitis and symptoms of Crohn's disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Crohn's Disease

Intestinal Symptoms

Non-Intestinal Symptoms

Associated Conditions

Signs and Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Intestinal Symptoms

Non-Intestinal Symptoms

Associated Conditions

New To IBD?

Are you newly diagnosed with IBD? You may feel as if you have a lot to learn. Sign up for my free E-Courses on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and get new reading material delivered to your email for about a week. These courses will step you through IBD from diagnosis to treatment, to coping and living your life.

Sources:

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. "What Is Crohn's Disease?" CCFA.org 2014. 10 Mar 2014.

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. "What is Ulcerative Colitis?" CCFA.org 2014. 10 Mar 2014.

Sachar DB, Walfish AE. "Crohn's Disease (Regional Enteritis; Granulomatous Ileitis or Ileocolitis)." The Merck Manual May 2013. 10 Mar 2014.

Sachar DB, Walfish AE. "Ulcerative Colitis." The Merck Manual May 2013. 10 Mar 2014.

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