Consumer Health: Treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

a young man, perhaps Latino, crossed his arms around his stomach in pain

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract. IBD can be debilitating and sometimes leads to life-threatening complications. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two types of IBD.

Crohn’s disease is characterized by inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which often spreads deep into affected tissues. Ulcerative colitis causes long-lasting inflammation and sores in the innermost lining of your large intestine and rectum.

Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis usually cause severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. These may be debilitating and lead to life-threatening complications.

The goal of treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. This may lead to symptom relief, long-term remission and reduced risks of complications.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, here’s what you need to know about treatment options.

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