Crohn's and Colitis
01 December 2018 MedicAlert

Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD's) and affect over 300,000 people in the UK alone.

Currently, both conditions are medically incurable, however Crohn's and Colitis UK have made it their mission to help change this. Crohn's and Colitis UK provide high-quality information, practical help and personal care to everyone that suffer from these diseases.

Their support enables independence through effective condition management so that individuals can live life as normal as possible. They also raise awareness nationally, educating the public to look out for symptoms as early diagnosis can result in more effective treatment.

Symptoms related to inflammation:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • An urgent need to move bowels
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • A sensation of incomplete evacuation
  • Constipation (can lead to bowel obstruction)

General symptoms that may also be associated with IBD:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle

Although the symptoms for both diseases are very similar, there are three main differences between them:

  • the location
  • the type of inflammation 
  • what layers are affected

With Crohn's disease, inflammation can occur anywhere along the digestive tract, whereas with Colitis, it only affects the large intestine. In Chron's disease, there is often a mix of healthy areas and inflamed spots whereas with Colitis, there are no healthy areas around the inflamed spots. And finally, Colitis only affects the innermost lining of the colon while Crohn's disease can occur in all the layers of the bowel walls.

So what can you do to help?

This week (1st December - 7th December) is Crohn's and Colitis awareness week, and there is a whole range of activities and events going on to help raise funds and spread awareness for the disease. Here are some of the ways you can help: 

  • #purplefirday on Friday 7th December, wear and encourage others to wear purple this Friday in support of Crohn's and Colitis
  • Make your own infographic If you have been affected by an IBD, share your story by making your own infographic and sharing it online 
  • Use the hashtags #myibd and #BeCrohnsAnndColitisAware to spread awareness online
  • Volunteer for Crohn's and Colitis UK
  • Start a fundraiser or donate directly to Crohn's and Colitis UK

Information gathered from:

Crohn's and Colitis - awareness week 2018

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation

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