Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases that cause inflammation of part of or the entire digestive tract (GI). Crohn's affects the entire GI tract (from the mouth to the anus), while ulcerative colitis or UC only affects the large and small intestine and ilium. Researchers do not know the exact cause of either disease. About 20% of people with Crohn's disease also have a family member with the disease. Researchers believe that certain factors may play a role in causing UC. Both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are a type of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis both have similar symptoms and signs, for example, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, episodic and/or persistent diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and cramping, rectal bleeding, bloody stools, joint pain and soreness, eye redness, or pain. Symptoms unique to Crohn’s disease include anemia and skin changes. Symptoms of unique to ulcerative colitis include, certain rashes, an urgency to defecate (have a bowel movement). Doctors diagnose both diseases with similar tests and procedures. While there is no cure for either disease, doctors and other health care professionals can help you treat disease flares, and manage your Crohn's or UC with medication, diet, nutritional supplements, and/or surgery.Read more: Crohn's Disease vs. Ulcerative Colitis (UC) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Stress Quiz: Test Your Emotional IQ
Stress creeps into everyone's life at one time or another, while some people will suffer from poorly managed chronic stress. If...
Ulcerative Colitis Quiz: Diet, Symptoms & Treatment
What is ulcerative colitis and what risks are associated with suffering over the long term? Take this Ulcerative Colitis Quiz to...
Diet and Nutrition Quiz: Plans & Facts
Even if you think you're getting enough fruits and vegetables per day, how can you be sure? Take the Diet & Nutrition Quiz to...
Crohn's Disease Quiz
What causes Crohn's disease? What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? How is Crohn's treated? Take this quiz to get the facts...
Pictures of the 7 Riskiest Workout Moves, and How to Improve Them
Working out is supposed to make you healthier--but some exercises can leave your body at risk of pain or injury. Some exercises...
Diet for Stress Management: Carbs, Nuts, and Other Stress-Relief Foods
While there are many ways to cope with stress, one strategy is to eat stress-fighting foods. Find out which foods to eat as part...
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What is inflammatory bowel disease? IBD can include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Learn more about testing, treatments,...
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Ulcerative Colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease and is slightly different than Crohn's disease. Your diet can impact...
What's Causing Your Abdominal Pain?
Get the facts on the most common causes of abdominal pain. Learn the difference between a stomachache and more serious causes of...
Abdominal Pain: Common Causes of Stomach Pain in Children
Abdominal pain in children can be more than just a tummy ache. What are the common causes of abdominal pain in children? Learn...
Worst Foods for Digestion
Discover which foods to avoid in order to prevent diarrhea and digestive problems. Find out which foods can trigger diarrhea and...
Crohn's Disease Causes, Symptoms, Diet
What is Crohn's disease? Get more information on this digestive disorder and how Crohn's can affect your diet. Learn more about...
Stress Pictures Slideshow: 10 Ways to Stop Stress
Feeling stressed? Watch this pictures slideshow for 10 ways to stop stress now. Focusing on breathing, journaling, and even...
Related Disease Conditions
Crohn's Disease (Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect...
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not...
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding....
Diarrhea (Causes, Medicine, Remedies, Treatment)
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal...
Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)
Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas,...
Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding)
Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding (hematochezia) refers to the passage of bright red blood from the anus. Common causes...
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Intestinal Problems of IBD)
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The intestinal complications of...
Stress Management Techniques
Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a...
Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form
Stool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from...
Colitis (Symptoms, Types, and Treatments)
Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. Symptoms of the inflammation of the colon lining include...
Fatigue (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment)
Fatigue can be described in various ways. Sometimes fatigue is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental...
Ulcerative Colitis Diet
An ulcerative colitis diet plan can help a person with the disease avoid foods and drinks that trigger flares. There also are...
Is Colitis Contagious?
Colitis is a term that us used to describe inflammation of the colon. The terms enteritis, proctitis, and inflammatory bowel...
Is Crohn's Disease Contagious?
Crohn's disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and is characterized by symptoms and signs that...
Why Am I So Bloated and Gassy?
Bloating is a feeling that your abdomen is distended or larger than normal, but it does not necessarily mean that it is. Gas...
IBS vs. IBD: Differences and Similarities
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) are both problems with the digestive tract...
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Diet: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a name for a group of diseases in which there is inflammation of the digestive tract...
Local ResourcesFind a local Doctor in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- sulfasalazine, Azulfidine
- Cipro, Cipro XR (ciprofloxacin) Antibiotic Side Effects
- olsalazine, Dipentum
- metronidazole (Flagyl, Flagyl ER) Antibiotic
- mesalamine (Pentasa, Rowasa, SfRowasa, Lialda, Canasa, Apriso, Delzicol)
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- methotrexate, Rheumatrex, Trexall
- budesonide (Entocort EC, Uceris)
- Corticosteroids (Systemic, Oral and Injectable)
- cyclosporine microemulsion solution - oral, Gengraf, Neoral
- ciprofloxacin ointment - ophthalmic, Ciloxan
- cyclosporine microemulsion capsule - oral, Gengraf, Neoral
- ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution (Ciloxan)
- mercaptopurine - oral, Purinethol
- Topical Corticosteroids
- Bile Acid Sequestrants
- mesalamine, Lialda
- metronidazole (Flagyl) Side Effects and Adverse Effects
- Prenatal Vitamins (Side Effects and Types)
Prevention & Wellness
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter