How Is It Diagnosed?Crohn's disease can be hard to diagnose because it can share a lot of signs and symptoms with other digestive conditions, such as ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, in order to make a diagnosis, the healthcare provider will usually ask a number of questions and perform a physical exam looking for signs of Crohn's disease. He or she may also recommend several tests. Some of these tests include:
- Blood tests
- Stool sample
- Upper GI series with small bowel follow-through
- Barium enema
- CT scan
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
(Click Crohn's Disease Diagnosis to learn more about these specific tests, along with conditions that share similar symptoms with Crohn's disease.)
The treatment that a healthcare provider recommends for a patient will depend on factors such as:
- The location and severity of the disease
- The complications a person has
- The response to previous Crohn's treatment.
The goals of Crohn's treatment are to control inflammation, correct nutritional deficiencies, relieve symptoms (such as abdominal pain [or stomach pain], diarrhea, and rectal bleeding), reduce flare-ups, and delay the need for surgery.
Treatment options for Crohn's disease may include:
- Medications (see Crohn's Disease Medications)
- Dietary changes (see Crohn's Disease Diet)
- Lifestyle changes (see Living With Crohn's Disease)
- Nutritional supplementation
- Surgery (see Crohn's Disease Surgery)
- A combination of these options.
Researchers continue to look for treatments that may someday cure this disease.
(Click Crohn's Disease Treatment for an overview of treatments.)