When thinking about diagnosis and testing, it is helpful to think about some of the differences between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease:

Ulcerative Colitis

  • Affects the colon (large intestine), always involving the rectum and extending upwards from there.
  • Each patient differs in terms of how far up through the colon the colitis extends.

Crohn’s disease

  • Crohn’s goes “from gum to bum.” It affects the entire digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, both the small and large intestines, and/or rectum.
  • There can be normal areas interspersed with areas that are affected (inflammed).
  • Some people have disease that affects the upper gut, which includes the esophagus, stomach and early part of the small intestine.
  • Some have both small and large intestine involvement and others only have disease in the large intestine or small intestine.


There are similarities and differences between Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Besides affecting different areas of the gastrointestinal tract, other characteristics of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis that may differ include: symptoms, the effect of surgery, treatment options, complications or extra-intestinal manifestations and impact of smoking.

These characteristics are summarized in the table below:

Colitis & Crohn's Foundation (India) has been established as a national, not-for-profit, voluntary academic society by a team of people with special interest in inflammatory bowel disease

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Colitis & Crohn's Foundation(India)
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