Before doctors can rule out other causes and pinpoint a Crohn's Disease diagnosis, they have to do some detective work. This includes gathering the important data about how a patient's signs and symptoms correlate with each other and a disease. Dr. Joseph Felder, a gastroenterologist, explains the steps of a Crohn's Disease diagnosis.
Once data is gathered about a patient's symptoms, the next step includes identifying related factors, such as genetic predispositions or family relatives that may have the same disease.
Once all this information is present, some tests have to be performed on the patient to verify that Crohn's Disease is in fact the issue. Tests include radiology tests like a CT Scan and a small bowel series, where a person drinks barium which goes through the small intestine and doctors can look at the image in an x-ray and see if there are any irregularities in the image.
Other tests include the endoscopy and colonoscopy. A colonoscopy entails using a scope to put inside the rectum to look for inflammatory changes in the intestine. These changes may include abnormal connections, which are called fistula, they may include ulceration within the surface of the bowel, a narrowing of the intestine due to inflammation, bleeding, pseudo-polyps, which are small warts within the intestine that occur out of inflammation rather than an abnormal growth of some sort.
All diseases are easier to treat when they are caught early. Since it is difficult for Crohn's Disease to go away on it's own, taking these tests to verify whether or not you do in fact have Crohn's Disease should be done sooner rather than later.