Crohn’s Disease: Journeying Toward a Diagnosis

Crohn’s Disease: Journeying Toward a Diagnosis
In part two of my four-part series about Crohn’s disease, I discuss the journey to a Crohn's or colitis diagnosis. Crohn’s and colitis are both diseases that are not as simple to diagnose as other chronic illnesses. With Crohn’s or colitis, there's no test that comes up positive for a treatment plan to begin. No, this disease cannot do anything "easily."  There is such a large number of signs and symptoms, and combinations of symptoms, that finding a diagnosis is not as simple as a yes or no answer. The first 'go-to' for getting your diagnosis is to see your primary care physician and say what's going on. Your doctor will note your symptoms and other information you provide, and hopefully suggest a plan. I know bathroom talk is never pleasant, but it could save you future pain or risk of the disease spreading or getting worse with time. Your primary doctor will usually recommend a referral for a consultation with a gastroenterologist if you have stomach issues. Then, after meeting with the GI, you'll likely go through a colonoscopy, endoscopy, or both procedures so doctors can view your inflammation and take biopsies of what is seen.  Blood work is usually ordered, such as a CBC (complete blood count), to look for anemia and infections; liver or kidney panels can be ordered, and typically at least one stool sample is requested. A colonoscopy, coming up from the bottom, or an endoscopy, going down from the top, are scope procedures in which a tube is inserted into the body through the  anus (up from the bottom) or mouth (down from the top) to look around.  These are done under general anesthesia to help avoid any discomfort or embarrassment, and sometimes fasting is required as well as a bowel prep solution to drink (lots of it, too).
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  1. Nic says:

    Where do they do scopes under general anesthesia?! Herein Canada it’s “sedation” but I can vividly remember what my intestines looked like on the screen the doctors had in the room and I was crying due to the pain. I was diagnosed with UC, had full collectomy after losing 40lbs in a month (105lbs to 65!) After 6 months in the hospital, 2 more surgeries, recovering and thinking I was done with the horror, I got sick again and boom. Crohns. People see me and they see my well practiced smile and have no idea the hell going on inside my body and as a result, my mind. I don’t know what my point is but I do seem to be less sick when I’m thriving in life. Doing well now but there’s always the heaviness of impending doom.

    • Mary Horsley says:

      Here, the sedation is anesthesia, but conscious sedation, so the patient can easily be woken up. However, I did wake up during my first scope, I was crying in pain as they moved around my bowel. I saw mine on the screen as well. I truly hope you have found some relief! And I wish you luck. Just keep your head up, it is truly hard to show the inside pain while keeping a smile. *Hugs*

  2. gina mccall says:

    I have to be under anesthesia, as my colrectal surgeon says ask for the milk of anesthesia, it is Propofol.Versed,demorol none of those work for me. I always have to go to a hospital to have a colonoscopy or endoscopy because the outpatient endoscopy places can’t give what I need. the pain is not tolerable if I’m not knocked out, plus with having 7 resections I have alot of kinks and places hard to maneuver. I say I don’t want to feel it and I’ll do it.

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