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Crohn's DiseaseCrohn's Diagnosis

Let's Talk About Crohn's Disease Tests and Diagnosis

It would be great if a single exam could confirm if you have Crohn’s. Naturally, it’s not that simple—but the tests below can work together to provide a clearer picture of your health.

    Our Pro PanelCrohn's Disease Diagnosis

    We went to some of the nation’s top Crohn’s disease experts to bring you the most scientific and up-to-date information possible.

    Jami Kinnucan, M.D.

    Jami Kinnucan, M.D.Gastroenterologist, IBD Specialist, and Assistant Professor of Medicine

    University of Michigan School of Medicine
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Neilanjan Nandi

    Neilanjan Nandi, M.D.Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

    Drexel University School of Medicine
    Philadelphia
    Frank I. Scott, M.D.

    Frank I. Scott, M.D.Gastroenterologist, IBD Specialist, and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology

    University of Colorado School of Medicine
    Aurora, CO
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    Frequently Asked QuestionsCrohn’s Disease Tests

    What is an endoscopy?

    An endoscopy allows your doctor to look around inside your GI tract. In this procedure, a small camera is mounted on the end of a lighted, flexible tube known as a scope, which enters your body either through your mouth or anus. It can be uncomfortable and you may be given a painkiller or sedative in advance.

    Can a blood test diagnose Crohn’s disease?

    Unfortunately, no. There is no single test—blood or imaging—that can definitively prove someone has Crohn’s disease. However, blood tests are still important pieces of the puzzle. The clues they reveal can help support your diagnosis and will also be used to monitor disease activity, complications, and how well your medications are working.

    Is there a test to predict if my Crohn’s disease will get worse?

    No. Generally speaking, the chances of Crohn’s getting worse depend on how bad your symptoms were when you were diagnosed. (Fewer symptoms equals lower chance of the disease progressing.) Taking your medications as directed can help slow disease progression, as can cutting out smoking and alcohol.

    How can I make bowel prep more bearable?

    Talk with your doc: You might be able to add some flavoring to the chalky liquid you have to drink. Chilling it beforehand may help make it more palatable as well. You can also ask about taking some of the solution in pill form if you really struggle with drinking it. During the prep, treat your bottom to some soothing wet wipes instead of dry toilet paper, and wear loose fitting, easy-to-remove clothing.

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood is a award-winning freelance writer and former magazine editor specializing in health, nutrition, wellness, and parenting.