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Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis are two if the most common forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in the United States.

Both CD and UC are conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Although they share many similarities, there are key differences between the two diseases.

Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect men and women equally and can occur at any age but often develop in teenagers and young adults. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease patients experience are similar. Although the causes of the disease are unknown, both have similar types of contributing factors such as environmental, genetic and the body’s immune system response. 

In contrast, some of the most notable differences between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are that Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere between the mouth and anus whereas ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon; in Crohn’s the intestine is both healthy and inflamed throughout whereas in ulcerative colitis there is continuous inflammation and lastly, Crohn’s disease can occur in various layers of the intestinal wall where as ulcerative colitis affects the inner lining. 

Both disease can often require surgery to remove or repair damaged sections of the bowels or to remove obstructions But when treated early with immunosuppressants, patients can live a quality life while staying in remission. 

It is estimated that 1.3% of US adults (3 million) reported being diagnosed with IBD (either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis).