Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (cont.)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diagnosis
A health care professional makes the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease based on
the patient's symptoms and various diagnostic procedures and tests.
- A stool examination is done to eliminate the possibility of bacterial, viral, or
parasitic causes of diarrhea.
- A fecal occult blood test is used to examine stool for traces of blood that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Complete Blood Count
Both the above tests are not diagnostic of IBD, as they may be abnormal in many other diseases.
- Upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract: This exam uses
X-rays to find abnormalities in the upper GI tract (esophagus, stomach, duodenum, sometimes the small intestine). For this test, you are
required to swallow barium
(a chalky white substance). When barium is swallowed, it coats the inside of the
intestinal tract, which can be documented on X-rays. If a person has Crohn's disease,
abnormalities will be seen on barium X-rays.
- Lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract: In this exam,
barium is given in an enema that is retained in the colon while
X-rays are taken. Abnormalities will be noted in the rectum and colon in persons with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
- In this procedure, your health care professional uses a
sigmoidoscope (a narrow,
flexible tube with a lens and a light source) to visualize the last one-third of the large intestine, which includes the rectum and the sigmoid
colon. The sigmoidoscope is inserted through the anus and the intestinal wall is examined for ulcers, inflammation, and bleeding. During this procedure,
the health care
take samples (biopsies) of the lining of the intestine.
A colonoscopy is an examination similar to a sigmoidoscopy, but
with this procedure, the entire colon can be examined.
If you have upper GI symptoms (nausea,
vomiting), an endoscope (narrow, flexible tube with a light source) is used to examine the esophagus, stomach, and the duodenum. The endoscope is inserted through
the mouth, and the stomach and duodenum are examined for ulceration. Ulceration occurs in the stomach and duodenum in 5%
to 10% of persons with Crohn's disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/2/2015
Must Read Articles Related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Abdominal Pain in Adults
Abdominal pain in adults can range from a mild stomach ache to severe pain. Examples of causes of abdominal pain in adults include appendicitis, gallbladder dis...learn more >>
Abdominal Pain in Children
Abdominal pain in children can range from trivial to life-threatening. Some possible causes of abdominal pain in children are: infections, food related (food al...learn more >>
Anatomy Involved in Crohn Disease
The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract, which is a long series of organs, including the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, and the lar...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):