Just like colitis ulcerosa, Crohn's disease causes intestinal problems. Like colitis ulcerosa, Crohn's disease is a well-known intestinal issue. These two illnesses however are very similar to each other. To give a clearer overview regarding what Crohn's disease is exactly and how it differs from colitis ulcerosa, we sum up the most important characteristics of the disease below.
What is Crohn's disease?
Colitis ulcerosa causes frequent, chronic inflammations of the colon. Crohn's disease, on the other hand, makes it so that the inflammation is not only limited to the colon, but also is found in the small intestine. Just like colitis ulcerosa, the illness causes chronic inflammations, but now in both these parts of the intestinal system. These inflammations are often combined with bleeding and ulcers, which in turn can lead to severe symptoms, such as anemia.
Crohn's disease can also trigger other symptoms. For example inflammations of the vagina and the bladder are not uncommon. It therefore is useful to recognize the symptoms of Crohn's disease early on, so that you can prevent worse symptoms.
What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease?
Just like in colitis ulcerosa, there are some symptoms which point to Crohn's disease. Below, you will find a list of the most common symptoms in Crohn's disease:
- Diarrhea, combined with blood and slimes
- Stomach ache
- Congestion of stool
- Weight loss
- Being tired
- Slowed growth in the case of children and youths
- Wounds, fistulae, and/or inflammations, usually around the anus
- Constrictions of the intestines
The above issues are directly linked to the inflammations of the bowel. Just like in colitis ulcerosa, complaints can develop in other parts of the body. Below you will find a list with complaints, caused by Crohn's disease, which develop elsewhere in the body:
- Inflammation of the eyes
- Swollen and/or inflamed joints
- Skin issues
- Canker sores and ulcers in the mouth
Just like in other illnesses, the way in which the illness expresses itself can differ a lot from person to person. Both the symptoms and the intensity of the symptoms can take different proportions depending on the personal expression of the illness.
Furthermore, people who experience a chronic bowel issue, have slightly larger chances of getting colon cancer. This chance usually appears after having had Crohn's disease for an average period of 8 years. To reduce this chance, a regular control by a professional is recommended.