Senior Care Blog

What Are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis?

By Jonathan Marsh, Owner

Hi, Fellow Community Members!

In honor of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, Dec. 1–7, Home Helpers of Bradenton is sharing a few facts about these serious inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

- Jonathan

Chron's and Colitis Awareness Week - Senior Home Care - Bradenton FL

What Are Crohn’s and Colitis?

Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are incurable diseases that affect the digestive system. They can cause abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, and weight loss, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

One difference is that Crohn’s disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract. However, ulcerative colitis only affects the colon. “In addition to the impact on the [gastrointestinal] tract, in some patients, IBD may also affect the joints, skin, bones, kidneys, liver, and eyes,” the foundation reports.

How Many People Have Crohn’s or Colitis?

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may stay under the radar, but they collectively affect 3 million people in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Inflammatory bowel disease is more likely to occur in people who are age 45 or over, Hispanic or non-Hispanic white, unemployed, born in the U.S., living in poverty, and living in suburban areas.

It’s not completely clear what causes Crohn’s and colitis. What is clear is that they are tied to abnormal function in the immune system.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease and colitis, according to the Mayo Clinic, include

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Blood in your stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintended weight loss

You should see your doctor if these kinds of symptoms persist. Although Crohn’s and colitis aren’t life-threatening, they can have serious complications, and they affect your quality of life.

How Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treated?

There are a number of medications that can be used for Crohn’s disease and colitis. As these diseases are incurable, the goal of medication is to improve symptoms. Surgery is also an option for some patients. Stress and poor diet can make symptoms worse.

Call Home Helpers of Bradenton to Care for Your Loved One

Need better care for your senior loved one? Give Home Helpers of Bradenton a call. We provide companion care, personal care, homemakers services, and Alzheimer’s and dementia care so family members can rest easier. We help families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-999-1960, or visit us online at