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Diverticulitis and Ulcerative Colitis: How Are They Different?

By Guide Blogger
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diverticulitis and ulcerative colitis: how are they different B-D-S/PhotoSpin

Diverticulitis and ulcerative colitis are two comparable inflammatory bowel diseases. IBD involves chronic inflammation of all or part of your digestive tract.

Diverticulitis is the inflammation of an abnormal pouch, most often in the colon, though it can be found in nearly all parts of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that affects the lining of the colon, according to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

These two inflammatory bowel conditions have similar symptoms, but ulcerative colitis is usually more severe than diverticulitis.

Ulcerative Colitis

The immune system of someone with ulcerative colitis mistakes food, bacteria and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances. When this happens, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations, according to the CCFA.

The inflammation of the lining of the colon causes the development of tiny open sores, or ulcers, that produce pus and mucus. The CCFA states that the combination of inflammation and the development of ulcers can cause abdominal discomfort and frequent bowel movements.


About half of all patients with ulcerative colitis experience mild symptoms. These include looser and more urgent bowel movements, and persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain and blood in the stool.

Stool is generally bloody. Abdominal pain is common, accompanied by loss of appetite and weight loss. A feeling of low energy and fatigue is also often present.


Medication for ulcerative colitis can suppress the inflammation of the colon and allow for tissues to heal. Symptoms including diarrhea, bleeding, and abdominal pain can also be reduced and controlled with effective medication.

For people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it is imperative to maintain good nutrition. Many people with ulcerative colitis find that soft, bland foods cause less discomfort than spicy or high-fiber foods, according to the CCFA.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Ulcerative Colitis

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