Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease fall under the umbrella of inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD. They have very similar pathophysiology, meaning the underlying causes of both diseases are very similar. Their genetics may be somewhat different, but there's definitely an overlap between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease. Symptomatically, there's also a lot of similarities. Patients with Crohn's colitis meaning the form of Crohn's disease that only affects the colon, can present very, very similar to patients with ulcerative colitis. And oftentimes it's difficult to differentiate the two early on. Some of the symptoms that have been studied and seem to be signs that a patient may have Crohn's colitis versus ulcerative colitis is if on initial presentation, they have more weight loss. So patients with more significant weight loss with less blood in their stool, typically are going to end up having Crohn's colitis. Whereas patients who have not had as much weight loss, who have predominantly bloody diarrhea seem to have ulcerative colitis. However, there are features on colonoscopy and blood tests that can help differentiate the two even further.
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