General Question

2davidc8's avatar

What's the difference between an ulcer, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn's disease?

Asked by 2davidc8 (9624points) July 22nd, 2019

It seems they’re all basically the same, just a matter of degree.

If you’ve had any of these, how did you treat it?

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5 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

IBD is the umbrella term, ulcerative colitis and crohn’s fall under IBD.

A friend of mine was diagnosed with pan ulcerative colitis and had her problems for years. She finally changed her diet and it cleared up. She doesn’t even think it was the right diagnosis.

Another friend with Crohn’s has had it for 30 years. He had constant blockages in his intestines that he would need surgery for. He wound up with a colostomy bag. I know he had taken a lot of steroids in the past too, which he has side effects from. He has been through a lot since his case was really bad. Someone else I know with Crohn’s has been lucky to not have such a severe case, I don’t think she has had any surgeries, but I’m not sure.

Our jelly @mariah knows a lot about this topic, I don’t know if she has been around lately.

canidmajor's avatar

My daughter has pan-ulcerative colitis, treated with meds that slow digestion and reduce inflammation. She has always been someone who eats a high quality vegetarian diet, so she copes pretty well, with few flare-ups. So far, she has not had to have any surgeries. I think being vegetarian helps, as ,eat is generally harder to digest than dairy, eggs, and plant based protein.

For understanding the differences in definitions, you would do well to research through reputable medical sites.

If you think you are suffering from any of these, see a GI specialist soonest.

2davidc8's avatar

@canidmajor Fortunately, I don’t think I have any of these. I’m just confused by the terms, as I read them in the news. Oh, and there’s also irritable bowel syndrome.
Most of you folks talk about pan ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s, so I presume these are the more serious of them. But what about ulcers? Has anyone “cured” their ulcer with diet?
Thinking back, my dad had digestive problems and abdominal pain that would flare up from time to time. He had this for years and years. He saw many doctors, but as far as I remember, no one could completely cure him. He was always wary of being hungry, so he carried Ritz crackers in this pocket which he could eat and tide him over until he could get a real meal. He also took tablets of something called “Digestif Rennie”, which were manufactured in the UK, but I these were basically Rolaids. They seemed to help. I had always thought that his symptoms were undiagnosed lactose intolerance, but now that I’ve come across all of these other terms, I’m not so sure. Anybody care to comment?
(By the way, this is not what killed him. He got run over by a car.)

JLeslie's avatar

@2davidc8 Stomach ulcers or ulcers in the colon? Stomach ulcers are most often caused by a bacteria that you can be tested for called H. pylori. If eating a cracker helped it was his stomach I assume.

Years ago I had read they are trying treating Crohn’s with antibiotics. I don’t know if there is an official standard of care for that, or if it was being researched. I think I remember that our jelly with digestive trouble takes antibiotics daily, and it was very helpful, but I might be mixing her up with someone else.

I tend to believe a lot of rheumatic problems actually have infectious causes, but I’m not a doctor or scientist, it’s just an interest/obsession of mine.

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