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Understanding Your Digestive Health: Crohn's vs. Colitis

Understanding Your Digestive Health: Crohn's vs. Colitis

What's the Difference Between Crohn's and Colitis?

Crohn's and colitis are two conditions that are often grouped together when we talk about causes, research, and treatment. However, these illnesses have different causes and require specialized care to help patients manage their gastrointestinal health. Both conditions affect the digestive system, but there are some key differences to be aware of.

Areas of the Body Affected

Crohn's disease and colitis are both inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) that affect the digestive system. They have similar symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss, but they differ in their specific causes and effects on the body. However, Crohn's can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus, while colitis is limited to the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Causes of Each Condition

Another key difference is the causes of these conditions. While the exact cause of Crohn's disease is unknown, it is believed to be related to genetics, environmental factors, and an abnormal response in the immune system. Colitis, on the other hand, can be caused by infections or reactions to medications.

Signs and Symptoms

Some common symptoms of both Crohn's disease and colitis include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, and weight loss. However, Crohn's disease may also cause mouth sores, eye inflammation, and skin problems. Colitis may lead to bloody stools and urgent bowel movements.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek medical care from a doctor who specializes in treating IBD. They can accurately diagnose your condition and create a personalized treatment plan for you. Don't hesitate to reach out for help – managing Crohn's disease or Colitis can greatly improve your quality of life.

Treatment Options

In terms of treatment, Crohn's often requires long-term medication, and surgery may be necessary to remove severely affected portions of the intestine. Colitis, however, can often be treated with medication or changes in diet.

Your doctor can help determine whether you have Crohn's or colitis and create a treatment plan to manage your symptoms.

Gastrointestinal & Digestive Care in Ridgecrest, CA

While Crohn's disease and colitis may have some similarities, there are also important distinctions to be aware of. If you have any concerns about your digestive health, don't hesitate to speak with a medical professional.

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is dedicated to keeping your family happy and healthy — while providing exceptional medical care when needed. For more questions on our gastrointestinal services, contact us today: (760) 446-3551.