Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Symptoms, Difference Between Ulcerative Colitis And Crohn’s Disease, And The Treatment Involved


Severe inflammation in any part of your gastrointestinal tract is grouped as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This can cause an array of distressing symptoms that can negatively impact your quality of life. 

However, the medical team for inflammatory bowel disease San Antonio aims at an early diagnosis and prompt treatment to avoid intrusive symptoms taking over your life. 

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, is a group of intestinal disorders that cause prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract. This interferes with the normal process of the digestive system. IBD can be very painful and disruptive and includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. 

Characteristic features of inflammatory bowel disease

IBD symptoms may be mild or severe and can sometimes have asymptomatic episodes called remission.

The symptoms include:

  • Abdominal or belly pain
  • Diarrhea alternating with constipation 
  • Urgent need to poop (bowel urgency)
  • Bloating and flatulence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mucus or blood in stool
  • Upset stomach 
  • Fever
  • Lethargy 
  • Nausea and vomiting 

Rare symptoms:

  • Itchy and red eyes
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes and ulcers
  • Vision problems 

Ulcerative colitis vs Crohn’s disease

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are grouped under inflammatory bowel disease, but there are some distinguished differences between them. These include:

The area affected

  • Ulcerative colitis commonly affects the large intestine (colon and rectum).
  • Crohn’s disease can occur in any part of your gastrointestinal tract (small, large intestine, esophagus, stomach, or anus).

The inflammation pattern

  • There is complete inflammation of your colon in ulcerative colitis.
  • While in Crohn’s disease, there are alternate healthy and inflamed tissues.

Extent and severity of inflammation

  • In case of ulcerative colitis, the inflammation is confined only to the innermost intestinal lining.
  • The inflammation spreads through all the intestinal layers during Crohn’s disease.

Treatment for inflammatory bowel disease 

Treatment for IBD depends on the particular type, extent of the inflammation, and symptoms.

Diagnosis to determine the exact location and extent of damage

  • Medical history to record your symptoms 
  • Blood tests
  • Stool examination
  • Imaging tests like CT scans and MRI
  • Other diagnostic procedures like colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, and capsule endoscopy 

Treatment includes:


  • Medications help relieve symptoms and reduce the inflammation
  • These include: 
    • Antibiotics
    • Immunomodulators
    • Corticosteroids
    • Biologics

Surgical treatment 

  • Removal of the diseased part of the intestines
  • Corrects abnormal intestinal narrowing (structures)
  • Anastomosis (reconnecting the two ends of a healthy bowel together) 

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be life-disrupting, yet it is treatable if diagnosed promptly. Lifestyle changes and medications help treat milder forms of IBD, while severe cases may require surgical intervention.