What Are the Tests for Crohn's Disease?

Through testing your doctor can make the correct diagnosis. 
If you or your doctor suspects you may have Crohn’s Disease then you will need to undergo tests and have an examination to determine if this is the cause of your symptoms. 

There are a variety of tests which may be performed which include but are not limited to: imaging tests, blood, urine, and stool tests. Along with this your doctor will want to get a thorough medical history and perform a complete physical exam. It is important to understand often times Crohn’s goes undiagnosed for years. This is mostly due to the fact that symptoms can gradually develop and it does not always affect the same part of the intestine. In addition, there are many other conditions which can mimic this medical issue. The symptoms must be carefully assessed before the doctor can make a final diagnosis. However, the good news is once a diagnosis is made you can begin to manage and treat your symptoms.

  • Diagnostic tests-These are often the first set of tests which are performed. This can include: colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. The colonoscopy is often the preferred test since it can be used to examine the entire colon. The sigmoidoscopy is only used to look at the lowest part of the colon. Your doctor may also choose to administer an abdominal x-ray. This can show if there are possible obstructions present in the gastrointestinal tract. Your health care provider may also decide to use an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. This test involves putting a small camera down your esophagus (while you are sedated), which will look at the interior lining of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Another test that can be used is the Barium enema which will take another look at your colon. 
  • Imaging tests-There is also a variety of different imaging tests which can be done. A CT scan can give your doctor a more detailed look inside the body. Some doctors also choose to use Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This type of test uses a magnetic filed and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of the organs and other structures within your body. 
  • Blood and urine tests-Your doctor will also run certain blood and urine tests to check for chemical reactions within your body. These tests will look for signs of anemia, inflammation, and malnutrition. This will let your health care provider know if you have any signs of infection or inflammation as a result of having Crohn’s. There are also certain blood tests which will let your doctor know if you have any antibodies which will reflect that you have this medical condition. 
  • Other tests-Your health care provider may also choose to administer other tests based on the result of the tests above. You may have a colon biopsy, stool analysis, or enteroscopy which can give the doctor further information toward making the correct diagnosis.
It can seem overwhelming when you are going through these tests. However, it is important to keep in mind it is only through testing that your doctor can make the correct diagnosis which will lead to treatment that will help you to manage and live with Crohn’s Disease.

Learn more about these conditions. 

For further information please link to this video

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