Understanding The Difference Between Ulcerative Colitis And Crohn's Disease

 By: Hugh J. Lara
While both of these diseases may seem very similar on paper, there is a subtle difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. This article is going to look at what that is so that you can have a better understanding of what treatments are available and what you can do to mitigate the symptoms of the disease.

One Major Difference Between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease

The biggest difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease is the area of the body that it affects. In Crohns Disease, your entire intestinal tract can be affected whereas with ulcerative colitis it is just the large intestine that is subject to the disease. This has several implications. The first of which is how to treat the diseases.

With ulcerative colitis, surgery is a very real option as the disease can be isolated to a portion of the intestine that can be safely removed. This does however have some significant repercussions, the first of which is that the patient will never have a normal bowel movement again. Instead their stool will be passed to a bag that they must carry with them. Not a whole lot of fun, but it is better than the alternative - a lifetime of excruciating pain.

Because it is difficult to track down what part of the intestine is being affected, treating an outbreak of Crohn's Disease is far more difficult. Diet has to be regulated and monitored for effective treatment and surgery in most cases is ineffective. Considering the outcome of surgery it is in most cases probably not worth the risk, although this is something you should discuss with your doctor if you are having significant problems.

While this is the biggest difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, it is not the only difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Other differences include symptoms for ulcerative colitis that include bloody diarrhea. This is generally not found in Crohn's Disease.

As you can see the important and subtle difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease will have a huge affect on how the disease is treated. Each has different options for treatment and in many cases will use the same methods. Whether it is drugs or more natural methods, the treatments for the two diseases can be very similar. Similar drugs and medications will both have positive results and can be used in similar ways.

Hopefully this has helped show you the difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. If you have further questions, consult a physician.
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