The major symptoms of IBD can be divided into 2 major inflammatory diseases of the bowel, which are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a non-specific chronic and continuous inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulcers (open sores) in the innermost layers of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Ulcerative colitis is limited to the mucosa and sub-mucosa, which are the first two layers of the lining of the bowel. Rectal bleeding and bloody diarrhea are common in ulcerative colitis. People with long standing ulcerative colitis are at increased risk for cancer.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract (from the mouth to anus) and throughout the entire thickness of the bowel wall and creates a granulomatous inflammatory reaction.

Most commonly occurs in the distal ileum and colon. Inflammation can skip areas, creating patchy areas of healthy and unhealthy tissue, eventually leading to narrowed segments of bowel and partial or complete obstruction of intestinal lumen.

Common features between Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Food intolerances

  2. Diarrhea

  3. Fever

  4. Weight loss

  5. Anemias

  6. Malnutrition

  7. Growth failure

  8. Extra-intestinal manifestations (arthritic, dermatologic and hepatic issues)

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