Diagnosing Crohn's Disease

We are all guilty of self diagnosis. We tend to take a 'wait and see attitude "with regard to our health at times. flu that would pass and felt lousy but was not really worried until he saw blood in his stool.

The doctor will do the usual doctor things … take his blood pressure and temperature, listen to his heart beat and look down his throat and in his ears. Then he will likely order blood tests and a feces examination. The blood tests will determine red and white blood cell counts and the feces examination will find how much blood is actually present in the stool.

The next test that the doctor will order is a barium x-ray. The patient swallows dye that coats the intestines and allows the x-ray to clearly show the entire digestive tract. By now the doctor has eliminated several possibilities of the patient's problems.

The next step is a test that is a bit more invasive called an endoscopy. A long flexible tube with a camera attached is inserted into the anus and threaded through the intestines to give the doctor an unobstructed view.

The doctor may then order a CAT scan. Barium dye is again used but this time the doctor can see the entire digestive system from mouth to anus.

Diagnosing Crohn's Disease is actually a process of elimination. By using the above listed tests, the doctor will have eliminated:

1. Colon cancer

2. Bowel obstructions

3. Diverticulosis

4. Gallbladder Problems

5. Food allergies

6. Celiac (a genetic, autoimmune disorder resulting in gluten intolerance)

7. Bacterial infections

8. Intestinal parasites

9. Endometriosis (women)

10. Ovarian cancer (women

The diagnosis will then be Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis since the two diseases present with the same symptoms. Treatments are the same for both diseases and time will determine which it is.

Source of Diagnosing Crohn's Disease by John Wiley – author of Diagnosing Crohn's Disease article

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