Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis

Video: Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis

Video: Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis
Video: Inflammatory bowel disease: Diagnosis | Gastrointestinal system diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy 2023, September

Inflammatory bowel disease: diagnosis

The diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease is very complex and involves a combination of different methods. At the beginning there is a detailed discussion with the doctor. She / he discusses which problems exist, how long they have existed and when they can arise. This is followed by a physical examination. As a result, the blood and stool are first examined in a laboratory chemical. The blood and stool indicate whether infections have occurred in the body…


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  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • The conversation with the doctor
  • The investigations
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

The conversation with the doctor

Prepare yourself for the following questions, she / he will ask if you..

  • Taking medication and which,
  • recently traveled
  • have a family member with a bowel disease
  • had an appendix operation
  • poorly tolerated certain foods and
  • Are (ex) smokers.

The doctor will then carry out a physical examination in which, among other things, the abdomen is palpated and the mouth and anus are examined. Sometimes the doctor also examines the skin, eyes or joints for abnormalities, as these can provide an indication of a chronic bowel disease.

The investigations

As a rule, the blood and stool are examined first by chemical laboratory tests. The blood and stool indicate whether infections have occurred and whether there is inflammation in the body (CRP value). The calprotectin value in the stool is also meaningful. For more information, visit the laboratory under C-reactive protein (CRP) and calprotectin.

If malnutrition is suspected, the doctor may order a comprehensive blood test if necessary. For example, iron (anemia), vitamin B-12, folic acid, vitamin D and zinc status can be ascertained. This indirectly also gives an indication of whether the small intestine resorption (absorption of substances from the intestine into the blood and lymphatic system) is affected.

The doctor will decide which further examinations are most expedient to clarify your symptoms.

Possible further examination methods for making a diagnosis are:

  • Reflection of the intestine and / or stomach (endoscopy, colonoscopy, gastroscopy),
  • with the painless removal of tissue samples (histology),
  • Ultrasound (sonography).

Even more precise examinations are carried out, especially if certain sections of the intestine are otherwise not / poorly reached and previous examinations have provided inadequate results. Possible are:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with enterography.
  • Capsule endoscopy, in which a capsule goes through the entire intestine and takes pictures. Beware of stenoses that may prevent the capsule from passing.
  • (Computed tomography with enterography).

Whom can I ask?

If you suspect you have a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, you can contact the following for a clarification:

  • General practitioner
  • Specialist in internal medicine (specializing in gastroenterology and hepatology)
  • Outpatient departments for gastroenterology (IBD outpatient departments)

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs that arise in connection with the diagnosis are covered by the social security agencies. You can find out more about the respective provisions from your health insurance provider, which you can find on the social security website.