Crohn’s Disease ‘Scope Series’: Pill Capsule Endoscopy

Crohn’s Disease ‘Scope Series’: Pill Capsule Endoscopy
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of columns by Mary Horsley about IBD-related procedures. Continuing with my "Scope Series" theme, the next procedure that I've undergone, and am discussing here, is what is called a "pill capsule endoscopy". The name itself gives you an idea of what this procedure entails: taking a pill that carries a little camera to take images, working much like a colonoscopy or endoscopy but without doctors or anesthesia. Unlike other endoscopies, this one can see from top to bottom:  the entire digestive system and potential areas of Crohn's inflammation. With some Crohn's disease patients, inflammation is inside the small bowel, and cannot be viewed in a colonoscopy or endoscopy alone. My Crohn's disease is small bowel specific, so I have had two of these capsule endoscopies — one for diagnosis and another for a disease progression check-up. Usually, when you arrive at your doctors' office, you are given the capsule and a small glass of water. Although not a fan of taking medication, I found the pill was surprisingly easy to swallow. Remember to wave 'hello' to your doctor before swallowing the camera, as it starts taking photos as you pick it up to ingest. As with other scope preparations, pre-procedure fasting is required. Not only do you not get to eat food the night before, but after 8 p.m. you cannot have liquids  (including water) either. Don’t worry, a few hours into the scope and you can begin drinking water, and soon eat food, too.  You are allowed to resume your normal daily activities, given a few rules. You may find yourself constantly adjusting everything, and never quite bei
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