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Both of these medical problems fall under the category of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases also known as IBD. Statistics show up to 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with these conditions. It is important to know these are chronic conditions which often run in families. However, both Crohn's and Colitus tend to affect both genders in about equal numbers. Keep in mind while anyone can get these conditions (without a family history); studies also show Caucasians tend to have it more then any other ethnic group.
It is also important to know that while Crohn's and Colitus are two separate medical issues they have one very important thing in common. They both affect the body’s immune system. This abnormal immune reaction causes the body’s normal bacteria to “turn on” the gastrointestinal tract of the individual which brings on the severe symptoms which can be experienced. This reaction is what classifies both conditions as autoimmune diseases.
It is also important to keep in mind Crohn’s and Colitis is two separate medical conditions. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. It can affect any part of the individual from the mouth to the anus. Colitis is vastly different in the fact that it is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon, (otherwise known as the large intestine). It should also be noted while each condition has its own separate symptoms there are also shared symptoms. These symptoms can include but are not limited to:
- An urgent need to move bowels
- Severe and consistent abdominal cramps and pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Having the sensation of incomplete evacuation
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic fatigue
- Night sweats
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
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