Ulcerative colitis can be fairly easy to diagnose, because it normally affects
only the colon and rectum. And it usually causes an obvious change
in daily bowel habits, such as frequent stools with blood or mucus.
Look inside your colon and rectum with
flexible sigmoidoscopy or
colonoscopy. The doctor uses a small, lighted scope to look inside the intestine. In general,
colonoscopy is preferred because it can be used to see the entire
colon. Both procedures can be used to take a sample (biopsy) of intestinal tissue. Biopsies are
collected during sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to see if you have ulcerative colitis. A biopsy also may be done to look for cancer.
Some people have symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but neither
Crohn's disease nor ulcerative colitis can be diagnosed. These people have a
form of IBD called indeterminate colitis. Doctors believe that it has features of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 05, 2011
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