Crohn's disease & Ulcerative Colitis - What are the symptoms?

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel diseases. They are both conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Although they share many similarities, there are key differences between the two diseases: Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon while Crohn's disease can occur anywhere between the mouth and the anus.

In Crohn's disease signs and symptoms may include:
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • fever
  • 5-6 bowel movements per day
  • Malabsorption and Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Intestinal blockage is a possible complication of Crohn's disease
  • Perianal fistulas are a frequent manifestation of Crohn's disease. A fistula is an abnormal channel or passageway connecting one internal organ to another, or to the outside surface of the body.
In Ulcerative Colitis signs and symptoms may include:
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Up to 10-20 bowel movements per day
  • Rectal bleeding and bloody diarrhea
  • Tenesmus - Tenesmus gives you the feeling that you need to have a bowel movement, even if you already have had one. When you have tenesmus, you might strain harder to produce only a small amount of stool during bowel movements.

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