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Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis


The digestive system can develop several conditions and autoimmune diseases, regardless of your age or physical condition. Two of the most common digestive diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease, which usually develops in adolescence, occurs in men and women at an equal rate. It affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract with symptoms that vary depending on which area is affected and how severe the disease is.
Most people with ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, experience ulcers and constant diarrhea with the presence of blood. Ulcerative colitis is confined only to the large intestine and not to the entire digestive tract, as in Crohn’s disease. However, the two conditions have common symptoms and are treated in a similar way.


The exact etiology of both diseases remains unknown, but there is much evidence that inflammation of the digestive tract is associated with both a genetic predisposition and external factors. Factors that trigger the development of this kind of inflammation are viruses, smoking, preservatives in food, and constant stress.

In Crohn’s disease, which affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract, you may experience colic, pain, diarrhea, fever, weakness and unexplained weight loss, severe bloating, and even arthritic symptoms. Some patients may even be asymptomatic.

The main discomfort in ulcerative colitis is diarrhea, which is accompanied by blood. When the disease flares up, you can experience about 15 bowel movements per day. You may also experience severe abdominal pain. If these symptoms are left unattended, there is a risk of colon perforation.


All digestive tract diseases are diagnosed based on your health status and history, how long you have experienced these symptoms, what your family history is relating to GI issues, and, of course, the tests recommended by your medical team. To reach a differential diagnosis of these two conditions, a wide range of chronic diseases must first be excluded. About 5% of patients are first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but the diagnosis later changes to ulcerative colitis. Clinical examinations, an endoscopy, a histological examination, imaging and laboratory tests are required to best guide your diagnosis.


Initially, digestive diseases are treated with medication to manage symptoms, as the disease cannot be successfully cured. Through proper management, you may not experience severe symptoms for a long time, improving your overall quality of life.
Surgery is only necessary in extreme cases, such as when a bowel obstruction or perforation occurs.
It is possible to develop cancer from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The predisposition to developing colorectal cancer increases as the extent of the disease increases. The age of the patient who developed the disease is also an important factor. The younger the age, the greater the risk.


At the GMI, our medical team of internationally acclaimed physicians guide each patient who is experiencing digestive issues through their entire journey, from their diagnostic work-up to their treatment and post-treatment care. The GMI team will never offer a simple “one size fits all” approach to any patient. We believe each patient’s case is as individual as they are and strive to find the best solution for each of our patients, taking their specific case and diagnosis, their lifestyle, and choices into account.
We believe each of our patients is more than their diagnosis. That’s why our dedicated paramedics team supports our patients by offering more than just expert medical care. We offer psychological help, integrative services (including yoga classes, and acupuncture) and have a GMI Patient Advocacy Program.
Adhering to our passion for innovation, and desire to progress the medical field, the GMI both initiates and participates in several clinical trials in which the most modern and advanced treatment concepts are tested.

24-hour Emergency Helpline

(+357) 25 208 000

Emergencies are not yet accredited of the General Health Care System

(+357) 25 208 000

Emergencies are not yet accredited of the General Health Care System.


Dr. Aris Angouridis

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