What's the difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease?
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are both chronic inflammatory conditions of the bowel. They share many symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and blood and mucus in the stools. Ulcerative colitis begins at the rectum and spreads upwards into the large intestine, but not into the small intestine. Crohn's disease mainly affects the small intestine, especially the terminal ileum and is patchy in appearance. It often leads to whole-body symptoms such as weight loss, nausea, fever and lethargy. An endoscopy and blood tests can tell one from the other.
Author: Karen McCloskey
First answered: 21 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 5.0/5 Votes: 149