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Colitis and Crohn's Disease: Similar Pathologies

Jun 28, 2008
According to medical professionals, the diagnosis of Colitis and Crohn's disease (named for Burrill Bernard Crohn) can be problematic. Simply manifesting the symptoms of distress in the digestive tract is not necessarily indicative of Crohn's disease. Because the symptomology of the two diseases is similar, often overlapping, an immediate or timely diagnosis may be complicated by the ambiguity inherent in the two diseases. A battery of tests may be necessary to isolate the exact cause of the discomfort.

General Symptomology

Some of the shared or related symptomology of Colitis and Crohn's disease are as follows:

* Diarrhea (with blood)
* Abdominal Cramps
* Fever
* Low Energy
* Limited or loss of appetite
* Weight Loss
* Constipation

External manifestations include:

* Skin Rashes
* Arthritis
* Inflammation of the Eye

As you can plainly see, the symptoms of Colitis or Crohn's disease are rather general and depending on severity or how they manifest, it could be related to some other cause. This is one reason why testing may be indicated.

Differentiation

Both Colitis and Crohn's disease exhibit inflammation of tissues. With respect to Crohn's disease, the affected area is usually the large intestine. This is not, however, a hard and fast diagnosis. It can affect the stomach, appendix, esophagus, duodenum, anus, and large intestine. It is not a surface affliction, it is often penetrative, deep within the tissue. This is probably the single most significant aspect of the disease. It relegates surgery to a treatment of the condition rather than a cure. The affected area in the case of Colitis is usually confined to the colon and can be operated on with the distinct possibility of eliminating the condition.

To complicate the issue, not only is the physical manifestation of the Colitis and Crohn's disease similar, the psychological component is often similar as well. As remission and flare-ups can occur, so too does the depression and deterioration of the sense of well-being.

Treatment

Treatment for Colitis (surgery) and Crohn's disease can be similar but where Colitis can be cured through surgery, there is no known cure for Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease is chronic and episodic. Because the affected area is so deep and wide spread in Crohn's disease, surgery is used only as an ameliorative tool. The goal of treatment in Crohn's disease is to place the disease into remission and then to maintain this state through the application of drugs such as aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and also antibiotics.

Bottom-Line

Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis appear similar. Both affect people in their teens and twenties. Both concern the inflammation of tissue. Both affect many of the same symptoms. However, Colitis is curable through surgery but Crohn's disease is chronic, episodic, and without cure. With proper treatment, diet management, prescribed medication, most sufferers can live a normal productive life. The incidence of mortality directly related to Crohn's disease is very low.

Disclaimer

The intent of this article is to inform and illuminate. At no time is this information represented as medical advice. Before acting on this or any information that may affect your health and well-being, please consult with a certified medical professional.
About the Author
Dean Deal is a successful Internet marketer, the founder and CEO of Live Long, Well! LLC, an information marketing company. Please visit Crohn's Disease Journal your best resource for information concerning this chronic disease affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans.
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