There are a range of digestive diseases that can significantly impact a person’s life. Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize the symptoms of a problem until it has advanced. In some cases, symptoms are simply ignored, which is a mistake. Many people think the issue will resolve itself after a few days, weeks, or months.

For obvious reasons, it’s wise to get an understanding of digestive diseases that affect the colon and rectum. More importantly, it’s important to seek medical attention when you recognize that a problem exists.


Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a condition that’s most common among people between the ages of 16 and 40. It’s considered a genetic condition and can be diagnosed with a barium x-ray of the intestinal tract. It can also be diagnosed with a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. There are treatment options available to help alleviate the painful symptoms. Sometimes doctors will recommend removing part of the colon. Some patients opt for this procedure because it often means medication is no longer needed.


Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is when the large intestine is inflamed. This is a condition that impacts half a million people. Individuals over the age of 30 are most at risk. Some of the more common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include abdominal pain, constipation, bleeding during bowel movements, and diarrhea. Experiencing one or a couple of these symptoms can be a sign of ulcerative colitis. Although this isn’t a disease that can be cured, there are medications that can help treat the symptoms.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that causes diarrhea, constipation, cramps, and bloating. It’s a disorder that impacts 30 percent of people in the United States at different stages in life. The reason why IBS is such a challenge is because the symptoms are similar to that of other conditions that are life-threatening. It’s believed that the reduction of stress and counseling can help to mitigate the symptoms of IBS. Additionally, medication can reduce contractions of the intestinal muscles,which alleviates some of the symptoms.


Other conditions that affect the colon and rectum include hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, bowel incontinence, and colorectal cancer among others. Keeping annual doctor appointments can help to ensure optimal colon and rectal health.