Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic diseases of the intestinal tract. Their cause is unknown but the diseases do tend to run in families. Although both diseases are initially treated with medications and managed by a gastroenterologist, a significant number of patients will need surgery at some point.

While Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have many similarities, there are some distinct differences. Below is a comparison chart for Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis listing possible symptoms and complications associated with each disease.

  Crohn's Disease Ulcerative Colitis
Organs that can be involved    
Esophagus and stomach Yes No
Small intestine Yes No
Large intestine (colon) Yes Yes
Rectum Yes Yes
Anus Yes No
Common Symptoms    
Abdominal pain Yes Yes
Diarrhea Yes Yes
Bleeding Yes Yes
Complications Requiring Surgery that can occur    
Stricture and obstruction Yes No
Abscess Yes No
Fistula Yes No
Perforation Yes Yes
Bleeding Yes Yes
Medications not helping Yes Yes
Curable No Yes

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