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DIAGNOSIS of CROHN’S DISEASE – WHAT TO EXPECT


You’ve had the scans, the blood tests, the colonoscopy and even the stool test. But which one actually showed you had crohn’s disease and led to your diagnosis? Stay put because I will tell you how crohn’s disease is diagnosed and what each test that you may have had done – or even about to have done – is looking for. Hi guys welcome back to my channel for the best tips tricks and information relating to Crohn’s and Colitis make sure you subscribe to my channel and hi that bell to be notified every time i post a video every sunday. Now cast your mind back to the moment you remember experiencing symptoms and the time it took for you to get a diagnosis. Some get diagnosed quickly and for others like my self had to wait over a year for their diagnosis, but the first test you probably would have had is a blood test so that’s where we’re going to start off with for today. So blood tests are very useful because they can show how your organs are performing by looking the levels of certain enzymes and minerals as well as your inflammation levels. Inflammation markers such as c reactive protein or crp and erythrocyte sedimenatation rate or esr can help show the levels of inflammation that is going on in your body. CRP is a protein that is made by the liver which is released into the blood whenever there’s injury or or inflammation or infection in your body. ESR measures how quickly it takes your red blood cells to settle down to the bottom of the tube and in healthy individuals this will be relatively slow but anything faster really indicates that there is inflammation present. Now it is important to note that you can not get a crohn’s diagnosis from just a blood test and that there are so many factors that can inflammatory markers like crp and esr to be high. Things like having a cold or infection can cause your inflammation markers to be raised as well. So test number two is literally a number two test or a stool test. You may be required to give a poo sample so the lab can test something called faecal calprotectin. Calprotectin is a protein which is released by white blood cells in response to inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and specialised white blood cells which release this protein are able to move to the intestine to release it, which is why it can be found in your stool. Again you can’t get a diagnosis or crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis from this test but high levels of calprotectin can indicate that something isn’t quite right. Number 3 is diagnostic imaging which is where you’ll meet someone like me who is a radiographer. If you didn’t know I was a radiographer and want to know how my crohn’s disease made me a better radiographer, make sure you check out this video and the link is in the description box below. So basically a radiographer takes things like CT scans, MRIs x-rays and ultrasound scans and plain x-rays don’t show up much detail but you can rule out such things like obstructions or perforations if you do come through A&E for abdominal pain. Now with ultrasound they can show if your bowel walls are thick if there are fistulas and abscesses present and even strictures so that can be suggestive of crohn’s disease as those are the type of complications you can see. CT and MRI scans they can give a much much more detailed of what your bowel looks like from the inside. And usually with CT and MRI scans you would need to drink a special liquid before hand so it can show your bowel much clearer on the images and there are certain signs and patterns that your bowel can make which can be suggestive of crohn’s disease but it is not enough to give a definitiive diagnosis. Number four is endoscopy and this is the best way to confirm a diagnosis of crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This is because you can actually see what the intestine looks like. Endoscopy is the general name given to a number of techniques used to look inside your bowel. So upper gastrointestinal endoscopy involves putting a camera through your mouth down your oesophagus to look at your stomach and the first part of your small intestine which is known as the duodenum. Lower GI endoscopy includes sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy now these both involve putting a camera up through your bottom to look at your rectum and colon. These both sound very uncomforable but you will be given sedation and if you haven’t watched my video on the behind the scenes of my colonoscopy and a vlog I’ve done on my colonosocpy then make sure you check out these videos and the link to those are in the description box below. Now there is another type of endoscopy called capsule endosocpy, which essentially involves you swallowing a camera in the shape of a pill. You’ll be attached to equipment which will help monitor the progress of the pill you swallowed which will then take pictures at intervals as it moves around your intestines, allowing the doctors to review the images of what is actually going on inside your intestines. Now having endoscopic investigations is the best way to get a firm diagnosis of crohn’s disease but it is likely that you’ll have a combination of all these tests that I’ve mentioned and what you’ll find it will vary depending on your symptoms especially if like me you weren’t showing the obvious signs of crohn’s disease until much later by which time you’ll be pointed to a specialist and have an endoscopy. Now you know how IBD is diagnosed, but do you know how it is treated and what types of drugs are used to treat it? Well if you don’t I’ve done a seperate video for you and you can find the link to that in the description box below so make sure you check it Also if you want to join an exclusive community of people who recieve my personal tips and tricks on living with crohn’s and colitis make sure you sign up to my newsletter by visiting the link in the description box below. Now make sure you check out these videos for more useful tips tricks and information on crohn’s and colitis hit that subscribe button and the bell to be notified everytime i post a video as well as leaving a like and a comment if you enjoyed this and found it useful and i can’t wait to see you all in the next episdoe

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