Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative ColitisAbout These Conditions
It can be overwhelming to receive a medical diagnosis, particularly one like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but learning more about your diagnosis, and ways to cope with it, can make it more manageable.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively called inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]), are chronic, autoimmune conditions that directly affect the digestive system. Autoimmune conditions happen when your immune system mistakenly attacks some of your own cells, causing damage. This can happen in any part of the body, but in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, your immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, causing inflammation, swelling, and painful ulcers. This results in stomach or abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
The major differences between the two conditions are their location within the digestive system, their symptoms, and their impact on how the body uses food. See table for more details.