Diagnosing Ulcerative Colitis

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a soft, bendable tube with a camera on it is inserted through your anus to check for sores and inflammation in the rectum and part of your large intestine.



Colonoscopy is a procedure similar to sigmoidoscopy, except that the whole colon is examined instead of just part of it. Colonoscopy is an accurate diagnostic tool, because your healthcare provider can look for certain types of inflammation that are characteristic of the different types of inflammatory bowel disease.


The results of these tests should help your healthcare professional make a diagnosis of your condition.

Comparing an Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis to Crohn's Disease

There are two chronic inflammatory bowel diseases that have an unknown cause: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These disorders have similar symptoms. The main differences between the two diseases are as follows:
  • Which parts of the digestive tract are inflamed
  • Whether the inflammation is continuous or occurs in patches
  • How deep the inflammation goes into the intestinal wall.


Other digestive disorders can also share some of the symptoms of these inflammatory bowel diseases. You healthcare provider will consider the following before making a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis:



Information on Ulcerative Colitis

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