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Crohn's Disease Health Center

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Crohn's Disease

How Is Crohn's Disease Diagnosed?

A variety of diagnostic procedures and lab tests are used to distinguish Crohn's disease from other inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions like ulcerative colitis.

First, your doctor will review your medical history. A specialist called a gastroenterologist may perform a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to obtain bowel tissue for analysis. Other tests your health care provider may order include:

  • Blood tests, including blood counts (often high white blood cell counts -- a sign of inflammation -- and low red blood cells counts -- a sign of anemia from blood loss -- are present).
  • Stool samples to rule out infections as the cause of diarrhea.
  • Special X-rays (such as a CT scan or MRI) of both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract may be ordered as well to confirm the location of the inflammation.

What Triggers a Worsening of Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's disease is characterized by periods of having symptoms, which can last for days, weeks or months, interspersed with periods of remission when no symptoms are present. Remissions can last days, weeks, or even years.

Factors that worsen Crohn's disease include:

How Is Crohn's Disease Treated?

Though treatments cannot cure Crohn's disease, they can help most people lead normal lives.

Medication

Crohn's disease is treated primarily with medications, including:

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