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Medical Diagnosis & Testing

Gastroenterologists make a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (UC) based on your clinical history, a physical exam, and a series of tests.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with UC or another IBD, you may need additional testing from time to time to monitor the disease.

An overview of the various UC tests.
To rule out other causes and pinpoint an accurate diagnosis, your doctor may run 1 or more of these tests, including:

Blood Work
Blood samples are tested for anemia or signs of inflammation.

Stool Tests
Stool matter is analyzed for signs of bleeding, and infection by bacteria, virus, or parasites.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
A procedure using a small tube to view the rectum and lower colon

Colonoscopy
A procedure using a small tube to view the rectum and the intestines

Biopsy
Tissue sample of any inflamed area taken for lab analysis

Computerized Tomography (CT)
A procedure utilizing computer imaging and X-ray scanning

Barium Enema X-ray
When ingested via enema, barium allows internal organs to be seen clearly on an X-ray.

Differentiating UC from infectious diseases.
One of the goals of the diagnostic tests may be to differentiate UC from infectious causes of diarrhea.
Stool samples are often obtained and analyzed to eliminate the possibility of bacterial, viral, or parasitic causes of diarrhea. Blood tests can also check for signs of infection.

Crohn’s disease diagnosis

A combination of tests may be needed for a Crohn’s disease diagnosis.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be similar to those of other illnesses, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis.
To rule out other causes and pinpoint a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, your doctor may run one or more of the following tests.

Blood Work
Blood samples are tested for anemia or signs of inflammation.

Stool Tests
Stool matter is analyzed for signs of bleeding, and infection by bacteria, virus, or parasites.

Barium X-ray
When ingested via enema, barium allows internal organs to be seen clearly on an X-ray.

Colonoscopy
A procedure using a small tube to view the rectum and the intestines

Biopsy
Tissue sample of any inflamed area taken for lab analysis

Computerized Tomography (CT)
A procedure utilizing computer imaging and X-ray scanning

Video Capsule Endoscopy
Images of the digestive tract are transmitted via an ingested miniature camera to a computer.

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