Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis are often grouped together as inflammatory bowel disease.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory condition primarily involving the intestinal tract. It most commonly affects the end of the small intestine and/or the large intestine. Because it is a chronic condition, Crohn’s may recur over a lifetime.
Although symptoms may vary greatly from patient to patient, more common ones include:
- abdominal pain
- weight loss
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammation of the lining of the large bowel, or colon.
- rectal bleeding
- abdominal cramps
- weight loss
Patients who have had severe ulcerative colitis for many years are at an increased risk to develop colon cancer.
Like Crohn’s Disease, the initial treatment for ulcerative colitis is the use of medication. Surgery may be necessary for patients who have the chronic form of the disease – not just occasional “flare ups” – and for those in whom medication is not effective. There are various types of surgical treatments that involve the removal of the colon and/or rectum, and a colorectal surgeon will determine which is most appropriate for each patient.
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