This article was originally written by Sarah Jenkins
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Crohn’s Disease, unlike ulcerative colitis, may affect any region of the digestive system. From the mouth to the anus, depending on which area of the body is affected, there are different types of Crohn’s Disease. Each encompasses slightly different symptoms and varies in intensity. You should be familiar with the various forms as your doctor may refer to your condition as one of the following five types of Crohn’s Disease.
The most common type of Crohn’s is Ileocolitis, which affects the ileum, or lower part of the small intestine, and colon. Common symptoms experienced with this type is pain or cramping in the lower right part or middle of the abdomen, as well as diarrhea and weight loss. As with the other forms, as a result of inflammation, damage to the intestinal wall is common and may cause additional complications.
Another form is Ileitis, which only affects the lower part of the small intestine, or ileum. There are similar symptoms as Ileocolitis, abdominal pain and diarrhea, and may include the formation of ulcerations or abscesses in the lower right area of the abdomen. Weight loss may also occur as a result of excessive diarrhea.
Gastroduodenal Crohn’s Disease, on the other hand, involves the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum, and the stomach. Loss of appetite usually occurs, as well as weight loss as a result, and nausea. Vomiting may also occur and be a sign of bowel obstruction. This form is particularly difficult to deal with as it affects nutritional intake and may lead to malnutrition.
Jejunoileitis is another type and causes inflammation in the upper half of the small intestine in patches. Abdominal pain is common, as with most forms of Crohn’s disease, but may vary from mild to intense. Pain usually occurs after meals and may include diarrhea. Fistulas may also form. If fistulas or abscesses form, they may lead to other complications as well.
Crohn’s (granulomatous) colitis affects the colon only and not any other part of the intestines. Because of the effect on the lower digestive system, rectal bleeding is common, in addition to anal disease, such as ulcers, abscess, and fistulas. Other symptoms include diarrhea as well as joint pain and skin lesions, which may occur in other forms on Crohn’s but is more common in this type. This form, in particular, is easily misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis, because both disorders affect the colon.