I had extensive blood work done to determine if I had Crohn's or UC. The answer came back a big fat 'MAYBE'. Biopsies from my colonoscopy indicated ulcerative colitis. However the inflammation was patchy and I had the beginnings of perianal disease, which is characteristic of Crohn's. Then the blood tests came back and said negative for UC and possible Crohn's. In other words, nobody knows.
My GI didn't seem too concerned. "It is 100 percent IBD and the treatment is the same whether Crohn's or UC". He prescribed pred which I never took but I went into remission anyway.
Actually it does make a difference at least to me. UC is a superficial inflammation that never leaves the confines of the colon. And in the worst case scenario it can be 'cured', if you want to call it that, with a JPouch.
I believe that Crohn's is a much more serious disease. First of all more people can die of it. It can spread to your small intestine and digestive tract. It is not a superficial inflammation but can penetrate digestive tissue creating abscesses, fissures, and wormholes that ooze crud throughout your body. And surgery is an almost eventual certainty that will not permanently 'cure' you but at best place you into remission for a temporary amount of time.
I never thought I would be hoping that I have UC, but the alternative is much worse.
It does indeed suck to have everything indicating UC, have the surgery, and then find out you really have Crohns or something else and are not cured after all :(
27/F Diagnosed with unspecified UC 11/08 (symptoms for over a year before)
Asacol, Prednisone, Remicade with no success--no remission for over 2 years
8/09 colonoscopy shows that the whole colon is affected
12/18/09 Removal of colon, creation of J-Pouch and ostomy; recessed stoma; 12/30/09 Takedown too soon; RV fistula;1/9/10 Second Ileostomy Surgery;
1/25/10 Stoma Revision Surgery; 3/30/10 Takedown again
6/9/10 Scope and Biopsy--Diagnosed with Crohns Disease (maybe...)
Tried gluten free and dairy free with no noticeable improvement
Flagyl 500mg (3/day), Prednisone 40 mg, Culturelle, D, B12, Iron (2/day), Starting Humira soon