Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease | What Are the Differences?

Colitis is the name doctors usually give to three different conditions:

              1. Crohn’s Disease
              2. Ulcerative Colitis
              3. Indeterminate Colitis

These are types of inflammatory bowel disease considered chronic, long-term conditions that involve inflammation of the digestive tract and can cause a number of uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. While the exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown, it is believed that a combination of genetics and environmental factors may contribute to the risk of developing these conditions.

1) Crohn’s Disease: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract and can cause abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, and weight loss. It is one of a group of disorders known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (inflammatory bowel disease), which includes ulcerative colitis as well.

This disease features inflammation of the inner lining of your digestive system. The condition usually begins in your small intestine but may also start in your colon or other parts of your digestive tract. Your body’s immune system mistakenly thinks these inflamed intestinal tissues are harmful and tries to fight them off by causing inflammation. As a result, the disease causes pain, swelling, and redness in your digestive system, and in some cases, the immune system can destroy healthy intestinal tissue.

Causes of Crohn’s disease

The exact cause of Crohn’s Disease is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of a combination of environmental, genetic, and immunological factors. There is convincing evidence that it may be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the lining of the intestines.

The following are considered potential causes:

    • Immunity problems: In some cases, patients with Crohn’s disease have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as ulcerative colitis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies have been used to distinguish between these two types of inflammatory bowel disease.
    • Hormonal imbalance: Patients with Crohn’s disease have lower than normal testosterone levels and high cortisol levels. This may be due to increased activity of the adrenal cortex.
    • Stress: Stress and anxiety can play a role in the development of Crohn’s disease. Stress is known to increase cortisol levels, which modulates the immune system and has effects on other glands and hormones.
    • Genetic predisposition: A number of genes have been implicated in the development of Crohn’s disease, but the exact cause of the condition is unknown.