Ulcerative colitis vs. Crohn’s disease
Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), but there are some key differences.

Ulcerative colitis:
Limited to the large intestine (colon and rectum)
Occurs in the rectum and colon, involving a part or the entire colon
Appears in a continuous pattern
Inflammation occurs in innermost lining of the intestine
About 30% of people in remission will experience a relapse in the next year

Crohn’s disease:
Inflammation may develop anywhere in the GI tract from the mouth to the anus
Most commonly occurs at the end of the small intestine
May appear in patches
May extend through entire thickness of bowel wall
About 67% of people in remission will have at least 1 relapse over the next 5 years

IBD is not IBS. It’s important not to confuse an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a disorder that affects the muscle contractions of the bowel and is not characterized by intestinal inflammation, nor is it a chronic disease.

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