Intestinal disease is associated with a group of disorders. It mostly involves the inflammation of the intestines. When the intestines get inflamed they become irritated and red. This is probably due to the immune reaction of the body in which the immune system starts attacking the healthy tissues in the intestines. There are two main types of intestinal disease: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine while Crohn’s disease can involve any part of the digestive tract. It can affect the esophagus, mouth, stomach and the rectum but it mostly affects the colon and the small intestine.
Common Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis
There are varied symptoms among patients suffering from this disease but the predominant symptoms are rectal bleeding and diarrhea. The severity of the symptoms corresponds to the amount of the colon and rectum that are affected and inflamed. Patients who have only a short length of the colon inflamed have milder symptoms.
When only the rectum is inflamed there is mild rectal bleeding which occurs intermittently. Patients with severe inflammation experience intense pain together with the bleeding.
They also feel a severe urgency to defecate and a fear of soiling their clothes if a bathroom is not near at hand. There is also a constant urge to move the bowels which proves to be ineffective and very painful.
When the inflammation affects the entire colon (the rectum, left colon, right colon and transverse colon) it is known as universal colitis. This colitis is very difficult to treat and the symptoms too are very severe. There is bloody diarrhea and fever accompanied by night sweats.
Severe abdominal cramps rack the body and the person experiences abject weakness and fatigue. People with low grade inflammation suffer milder symptoms and readily respond to treatment and medicines.
Some patients with severe inflammation become very ill and protracted diarrhea with bleeding causes dehydration. The colon becomes perforated and the abdominal pain becomes unbearable.
These patients have to be treated immediately with intravenous medications and if they do not respond to this treatment then the removal of the colon becomes imperative.
Symptoms Of Crohn’s Disease
The symptoms depend upon which part of the digestive tract is affected and how severe is the inflammation. However the main symptoms are rectal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, night sweats, fever and poor appetite.
The mucous membranes of the small intestine become inflamed. The first part of the small intestine is known as jejunum and the second part is called the ileum.
Crohn’s disease affects the ileum and is known as Crohn’s ileitis. This causes intensive pain in the abdomen and sometimes there is an obstruction in the intestine.
When Crohn’s disease affects both the small intestine and the large intestine there is severe pain accompanied by diarrhea. The patient has loose and watery motions and sometimes he/she even passes blood in the stool. This causes painful abscesses in the anus and the rectum. These abscesses fill up with pus. Frequent bowel movement causes a loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss.