6 Tests for Diagnosing Inflammatory Bowel Disease

6 Tests for Diagnosing Inflammatory Bowel Disease
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe two different conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Although there is a lot of information available about these conditions, diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease is a complex procedure involving several different tests.

MORE: Eight different signs and symptoms of IBD you might want to know about

Here are some tests that may be needed to diagnose IBD:

  1. Blood cell counts: Complete blood count and white blood cell counts are used to diagnose IBD. In addition, the detection of C-reactive protein in blood and the evaluation of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate can help to determine the rates of inflammation and infection in the patient.
  2. Vitamin levels: Vitamin B12 levels and folate levels could indicate gastrointestinal malabsorption and bowel disease.
  3. Stool tests and cultures: Fecal calciprotein is used as a non-invasive marker of intestinal inflammation in patients with IBD. Stool samples need to be cultured to check for bacterial and protozoal infections.
  4. Serologic: Serologic testing is used to measure antibodies in the blood serum for inflammatory bowel diseases.
  5. Imaging techniques: Radiographic, CT, and MRI scans can all used to diagnose IBD — especially to determine if a patient has ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  6. Invasive techniques: Biopsies and the study of tissue specimens may be used for severe cases of IBD.

MORE: Four lifestyle changes to consider making if you have inflammatory bowel disease

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