Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Facts
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease:
Because Crohn’s Disease can be found within any part of the GI tract, the symptoms can vary from person to person. Here are some of the most commonly found symptoms within those that suffer with these chronic conditions:
- Persistent Diarrhea
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Rectal bleeding and pain
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Urgent need to move bowels
Crohn’s is a chronic disorder, meaning those suffering will often experience periods of flare ups followed by a remission of symptoms. Although there may not be a cure for Crohn’s disease, there are many combinations of treatment options available that can make your journey easier. If you think you may be suffering from Crohn’s disease, it is important to seek the attention of a medical doctor to help guide you through this painful time.
What are the causes and
who is affected
About 1.6 million people are affected by some type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and according to The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, 780,000 of those people are suffering from Crohn’s specifically. While the condition can be found at any age, it is more prevalent amongst teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. With the number of kids diagnosed quickly rising.
When it comes to the cause of Crohn’s Disease, it is not all that well understood and is believed to be triggered by a combination of things as simple as diet and stress to genetics and/or environmental factors.
Picture this: Our GI tracts are home to thousands of harmless bacteria, many of which aid in our digestive health and wellness. And within that healthy system, our immune system typically fights off the bad bacteria and other microorganisms that are harmful to the well-being of our harmless bacteria. However, in people that are suffering from IBD, these healthy bacteria are often mistaken for foreign invaders which triggers an immune response and produces inflammation within our GI tract. When the inflammation does not subside, it can cause a flare up of patient symptoms.
What is Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis is another type of IBD that is often confused with Crohn’s as they share similar symptoms. But the two are quite different when it comes to overall treatment and prevalence of disease. Ulcerative Colitis (UC), unlike Crohn’s, is only found within the colon, and often causes tiny open sores or ulcers that can cause unbearable pain. Although this is also a chronic and painful autoimmune disease, UC does have many non invasive surgical intervention options that can reduce symptoms for those suffering with UC.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Although many that experience have UC experience different symptoms that ranges in severity, here are a few that are most common amongst those diagnosed:
- Urgent or loose bowel movements
- Persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain
- Blood in stool
- Low energy and fatigue
- Loss of appetite resulting in weight loss
The symptoms of UC do tend to come and go as it is a chronic disorder where patients will experience flare-ups of symptoms followed by remission which can generally last months or even years. The unpredictability of ulcerative colitis is what makes it so hard to diagnose and treat. Again, leaving many that suffer with the disease feeling helpless and unaware of what to do next.
What is the cause of Ulcerative
Colitis and who is affected
It is predicted by The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation that around 907,000 people may be suffering with ulcerative colitis in America, and although there has been many advancements in research, there is still not an exact answer for what causes this disease. It is believed that the inflammation that occurs with ulcerative colitis is caused by a combination of many factors such as, inherited genes, environmental factors and the immune systems response. Men and women are as equally likely to be affected by UC, and although most are diagnosed in their mid-30s, it can be diagnosed at any time and is even believed to run in families.
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